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Good Samaritan law protects those administering NARCAN to overdose victims

Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy
Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy
Photo by Christopher Capozziello/Getty Images

“Drug related overdoses have increased significantly and are the leading cause of accidental deaths in Connecticut,” said State Representative Gerald Fox III, House Chair of the Judiciary Committee (D-Stamford). “Citizens should not fear prosecution in attempting to save a life. Enhancing access by allowing non-medical personnel to carry and administer Narcan, a drug overdose medication, is a step towards treating the epidemic we are experiencing. Saving lives while protecting good Samaritans is good policy.”

As a result, Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy has signed new legislation (Public Act14-61) to "protect Good Samaritans from civil and criminal liability when administering Naloxone Hydrochloride (known as Narcan) 'in good faith' to someone who has overdosed on heroin as well as prescription drugs." The new law is primarily focused on reducing fatalities resulting from heroin and prescription drug overdoses. Narcan is a prescription medication that reverses an opioid overdose. It can be administered by a layperson with minimal training and is most commonly available as either an injection or nasal spray.

“As we work to implement strategies that will prevent overdoses and reduce over-prescribing, it is also imperative that we remove potential barriers to Narcan use,” Malloy stated during yesterday’s signing ceremony. “This legislation may encourage someone to act to save a life and be the catalyst that causes someone battling addiction to seek treatment.”

“We recognized that heroin-involved clients were cycling through detox and not getting priority access to Methadone. The Department of Mental Health and Addictions Services treatment protocol works to interrupt that cycle” added Commissioner Rehmer. “We have not narrowly focused on one or two services but offer a broad spectrum of treatment and recovery support services. We have funded care managers in high need areas so they are available to assist individuals who are ready to access treatment. We have outpatient services, detox services, residential services, peer support and recovery support services. Our prevention efforts include prescription drug take back days, prescription drug drop boxes and media campaigns to increase public awareness.”

Note: According to health officials, more people between the ages of 20-64 die due to drug than are killed in car crashes throughout the US.