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Criminal Justice & Legal System

MI Senate bills would allow librarians to administer Narcan

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Three bills that would allow people such as librarians and teachers to administer treatments for opioid overdoses are being considered in Michigan's state Senate. They are Sen. Paul Wojno's Senate Bill 200, Sen. Curtis Vanderwall's Senate Bill 282, and Peter Lucido's Senate Bill 283.

Updated, May 22, 2019, 4:47 p.m.:

Some of the bills in the package were passed in the state Senate Wednesday. The bills protect trained employees who administer the medication from civil liability if something goes wrong.

“We have fire extinguishers in public buildings for a purpose,” Senator Peter Lucido (R-Shelby Township) said. “To put a fire out. This is the same idea.”

Lucido, who sponsored Senate Bill 283, said this is about saving lives.

“It’s getting to the heart of what an issue is when you have an overdose,” Lucido said. “It’s taking care of the issue before it becomes a death. And if you don’t have the Narcan in hand, you’ll never be able to save that individual.”

Original Post, May 20, 2019, 7:15 a.m.:

The bills' sponsors expect votes to happen this week.

Democratic state Senator Paul Wojno says he sponsored the bills after several people overdosed on opioids in libraries last winter. He says, "Should an incident arise they'll be able to, under the good Samaritan law, treat the individual before the emergency personnel arrive on the scene." 

Republican state senator Peter Lucido says the bills would allow more people to have training and access to drugs like Narcan. He says,  "Without the Narcan you can never save the person's life, it's a life-jacket when they are drowning in a sea of narcotic problems and as a result this is part of the package of bills."

A University of Michigan analysis that was recently published says there are more deaths in the state from drug overdoses than from car accidents. The study ranks Michigan “among the top third in the country from drug-related deaths.” They also cite almost one-third of the counties in Michigan do not have medication-based treatment directed at opioid addiction.

Vanderwall says they are "disappointed we have to pass a law like this, but know that we have to because of the situation. And it just allows us to work harder to hopefully come up with some stratagies to reduce opioid addiction."

The bills protect the person who administers the drugs from legal ramifications if the person who overdosed dies.

The House has already approved a similar bill. 

Legislation allowing libraries to stock and administer opioid overdose drugs is on pace to reach the governor’s desk by June.

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