Del. Senate Passes Bill to Increase Access to Opioid Overdose An - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Del. Senate Passes Bill to Increase Access to Opioid Overdose Antidote

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DOVER, Del. (WBOC) - The Delaware state Senate Tuesday passed a bill to help save heroin users lives.

It's no secret heroin use is a serious problem in Delaware. Fentanyl-laced heroin is is particularly dangerous. It has killed six Delawareans recently. But heroin in any form can be deadly. This bill increases access to a drug called Naloxone. It's an overdose antidote.

Various emergency personnel across Delmarva carry Naloxone. It comes in spray and shot forms. And given while someone is ODing on an opioid, like heroin, it can save their lives.

Dave Humes son, Greg, during his life fought an on and off battle with heroin. On a May night two years ago, Greg lost that battle.

"He had been clean for 17 months," Dave said. The heroin was getting much stronger than it had ever been. He overdosed.

Humes says police told him if Greg had gotten a dose of Naloxone, also called Narcan, he might very well have survived.

"We're trying to get a bill that puts this medicine into the hands of loved ones of people who are still dealing with substance use," said Humes.

Lots of states and cities have expanded the accessibility of Naloxone recently. The Delaware bill has the state Department of Health and Social Services set up a program to teach people how to safely use it. And it lets them get Naloxone for an addict who has a prescription.

"There is zero abuse potential for Narcan," said Marc Richman, assistant director of Community Mental Health and Addiction Services for DHSS. "It cannot be abused. It is extremely safe. If it is administered, you always want to have medical attention follow-up."

Critics of making Naloxone more available say the focus should be on getting users help and not further enabling their addiction.

"First, you have to save their lives," Dave counters. "If they're dead,you can't get them treatment."

He says pushing for this bill honors the memory of son. And saving just one life makes it all worth it.

This bill now heads to the House of Representatives.

Last year Humes pushed for a different bill connected to his son's death. That bill created a 911 good samaritan law in Delaware. It gave legal immunity to people who seek medical help for someone who is overdosing.
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