Tag Archives: legislation

Australian Capital Territory | Legislative protection for Good Sams who administer Naloxone

The ACT Government will progress legislative changes to protect “Good Samaritans” who administer Naloxone in life-saving situations.

Minister for Health Simon Corbell announced the changes today at the launch of the final evaluation report into an innovative program aimed at saving the lives of people at risk of opioid overdose.

“I will progress changes later this year to the Civil Law (Wrongs) Act, to legally protect people when they administer Naloxone in a life-saving situation,” Mr Corbell said.

“I hope this change will encourage more people to get involved in the program in the future to help save more lives and reduce harm caused by opiods.”

The ACT program, which began in March 2012, was Australia’s first to provide Naloxone to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose, on prescription to potential victims. This allowed people other than health professionals to administer the drug in a timely and appropriate manner to overdose victims.

“This comprehensive report proves that the program has been a genuine life-saver. It also recommends continuation of the ACT program, and makes a number of suggestions on delivery format, scope, partnerships and funding that may improve the reach and sustainability of the program,” Mr Corbell said.

“Again, the ACT has led the way by listening to the key stakeholders involved, and instigating changes which have had a dramatic and positive influence on people’s lives.”

The ACT program was delivered by the peer drug user organisation Canberra Alliance for Harm Minimisation and Advocacy (CAHMA).

Prescriptions were provided by a local physician to 200 eligible participants for administration by a peer or family member in the event of an overdose.

“The report documents 57 overdose reversals with no serious adverse events,” Mr Corbell said.

“Practitioners, participants and other stakeholders involved in the program are reported to be supportive of the program and its continuation.

A wider rollout of the Naloxone program has been made possible by funding of $115,000 announced in this year’s budget.

Queensland | Proposed changes to provide security for sick firefighters

Queensland firefighters will be provided with greater certainty in their worker’s compensation coverage for latent onset diseases under legislative amendments the Palaszczuk Government has introduced to State Parliament.

Treasurer and Minister for Industrial Relations Curtis Pitt said the proposed amendments would make it easier for firefighters to access compensation for work-related cancers.

“The former LNP government had three long years to deliver on this important deemed disease legislative reform for Queensland’s permanent, auxiliary and volunteer firefighters, and it failed to do so,” he said.

“Under our proposed changes, if a firefighter develops one of 12 specified cancers and meets the qualifying period of active firefighting service, then the cancer will be deemed to be work-related.

“This is part of Labor’s election commitment to firefighters.

“Firefighters are essential to the safety and peace of mind Queenslanders and they can always count on the Palaszczuk Government’s support.

“Our amendments will ensure local firefighters who get sick after fighting house fires or containing grass fires will not have the burden of proving that their cancer is the result of their firefighting work.

“Critically, this means they will get access to their compensation benefits in a more timely fashion.”

The proposed amendments in the Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2015 have been modelled on similar laws introduced in other Australian jurisdictions.

They are enhanced by incorporating the most recent advice from the Australian and international research into the links between firefighting work and cancer.

Importantly, the provisions will apply to all current or former firefighters who are either employed by the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services or engaged as volunteer firefighters by the Rural Fire Service Queensland.

“No other deemed disease scheme in Australia offers volunteer firefighters unfettered access to common law damages, and the same entitlements as permanent and auxiliary firefighters,” Mr Pitt said.

“With this Bill, the Queensland Government is ensuring that those firefighters who contract one of the specified cancers are given the financial security to look after their families, allowing them to focus on their treatment.”

For more information on Queensland’s workers’ compensation scheme visit worksafe.qld.gov.au or call 1300 362 128.


Manitoba #MB | Province introduces groundbreaking presumptive #PTSD legislation

The Manitoba government is introducing amendments to the Workers Compensation Act that would recognize post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a work-related occupational disease, Premier Greg Selinger announced today.

“This legislation would be unique in Canada and would truly support workers who experience a traumatic event or events in the workplace that lead to PTSD,” said Premier Selinger.  “Under this new law, the Workers Compensation Board would presume their condition was caused by the job, making it much easier to access supports, treatment and compensation.”

The premier noted this proposed change was inspired by the work of Manitoba nurses, firefighters, first responders and the Manitoba Government Employees Union who led the charge with public campaigns, recognizing the affects workplace trauma can have on their members.

“We represent a broad cross section of workers in different occupations and as such we have learned that psychological injuries can happen to absolutely anyone regardless of what they do for a living,” said Michelle Gawronsky, president, Manitoba Government and General Employees’ Union.  “This legislation would make it easier for workers to get the treatment they need more quickly.”

This new bill would extend coverage and benefits to all workers eligible under WCB who are diagnosed with PTSD by a medical professional.  This would ensure timely access to compensation and support services, with the long-term goal of reducing the stigma attached to mental illness, the premier said.

“Firefighters and first responders face challenges every time they answer a call,” said Alex Forrest, president, United Firefighters of Winnipeg.  “Presumptive legislation of this kind protects front-line workers like us and it’s been a pleasure working with the Manitoba government to make this happen.”

“Being on the front line when tragedies happen can leave you with experiences you’ll never forget,” said Sandi Mowat, president, Manitoba Nurses Union.  “PTSD is a condition many of our members experience, due to the fact that nurses face cumulative exposure to primary, secondary and vicarious trauma over prolonged periods of time and this legislation would help those having to manage with this diagnoses.”

“PTSD is a real threat to working people.  Any improvements in their access to support is welcome news,” said Kevin Rebeck, president, Manitoba Federation of Labour.  “It comes as no surprise to me that Manitoba is the first jurisdiction to put this level of protection into legislation.”

Manitoba’s Five-Year Plan for Workplace Injury and Illness Preventionlaunched in 2013 includes mental health as one of its 10 action areas.  The plan commits Manitoba to improving supports, resources and coverage for workers who routinely face traumatic events as part of their work in an effort to reduce work-related PTSD.

Nova Scotia #NS | Govt seeks public input on use of #ServiceAnimals

The Department of Justice is seeking feedback on the definition and protection of rights of service animal users. It will be used to shape new legislation governing service animals.

“With the increasing use of service animals in Nova Scotia, we must ensure we are protecting the rights of people who rely on service animals,” said Justice Minister and Attorney General, Lena Metlege Diab. “There is confusion and we need to clarify what qualifies as a service animal, and the training and identification expectations that would be required to receive legal protection.”

Anne MacRae, executive director of the Disabled Persons Commission, said she agrees the rights of people who use service animals must be protected.

“We are encouraged by the steps being taken to help define these rights,” she said.

The use of guide dogs and other service animals are increasing as they provide critical support for Nova Scotians who are blind or visually impaired, and for people with other disabilities. This could include people who have autism, mobility issues, suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, have seizures, who experience dissociative identity disorder, or who have other illnesses or disabilities that can be helped by a service animal.

“I am pleased that government is seeking clarity on the use of service animals,” said Charlie MacDonald, member of the minister’s advisory panel on accessibility legislation and guide dog user. “It’s very important to hear from the community; they’ll help shape the legislation and eventually help educate others on what the rights of service animal users are.”

Three consultations will be held in an open-house format:

— June 18, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the Sydney Justice Centre, in the multi-purpose room on the lower level, 136 Charlotte St.
— June 22, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the Human Rights Commission, in the resolution conference room, 6th floor, 1601 Lower Water St., Halifax
— June 26, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the Yarmouth Justice Centre, in the conference room, 164 Main St. (French interpretation services available at this session)

Those planning to attend and require accommodation for a disability, can let organizers know by calling 902-424-7729.

A discussion paper and an online survey are now available for input on the definition of service animals, training standards, identification standards and penalties for breaking laws that protect service animal users.

Nova Scotians can access the discussion paper and provide feedback in many ways:

— feedback can be submitted online in English and French at http://novascotia.ca/just/serviceanimalconsultation.asp
— the discussion paper will be available in English, French, ASL, Braille and large font
— comments can be emailed to serviceanimals@novascotia.ca or mailed to: Service Animals Consultation, Nova Scotia Department of Justice, Policy, Planning and Research, P.O. Box 7, Halifax, N.S., B3J 2L6
— use TTY through the Disabled Persons Commission at 902-424-2667, or toll free within Nova Scotia at 1-877-996-9954
— phone 902-424-7729 for more information or to ask questions

Comments will be accepted until July 31.

Kentucky | Proposed heroin legislation includes provision for police-administered Naloxone

Attorney General Jack Conway, prosecutors and law enforcement officers today joined together to announce priorities they believe must be included in any heroin legislation considered by the 2015 General Assembly.

“Last year, I presented a bipartisan bill to address the resurgence of heroin that did not pass in the waning hours of the 2014 General Assembly,” Attorney General Conway said.  “That cannot and must not happen again.  People are dying.  It’s time to put people above politics and pass a piece of legislation that addresses this addiction and people peddling this poison.”

Attorney General Conway, prosecutors and law enforcement officers attending today’s press conference are not supporting a specific piece of legislation.  Ultimately, they believe any bill presented must address the following issues:
• Higher penalties for high-volume traffickers.

• Larger scale dealers should be forced to serve 50 percent of their sentences before being eligible for parole.

• Law enforcement officers should have access to Naloxone, a drug that is able to reverse a heroin overdose in seconds.  First responders should be able to administer it to an overdose victim without fear of civil liability.

• A limited, but workable, Good Samaritan provision is important to saving lives.  Currently, there is a fear among drug addicts that calling the police to assist an overdose victim will result in prosecution and incarceration.  If a person calls 911 to seek help for an overdose victim, the law should take that into account and provide them with an opportunity to make his or her case in court. This would only apply to users or those facing possession charges – not traffickers.

• Expanded treatment for addicts.

“The heroin epidemic is crippling our criminal justice system, victimizing our communities and killing users at an alarming rate,” said Linda Tally Smith, Boone County Commonwealth’s Attorney and member of the Kentucky Prosecutors Advisory Counsel.  “Decreasing supply by increasing penalties for heroin traffickers is an imperative first step in combatting the problem.  As such, I appreciate General Conway’s support of efforts to increase penalties for drug traffickers.”

“Heroin is an equal opportunity destroyer of lives,” Franklin County Sheriff Pat Melton said.  “It attacks rich and poor, male and female, black and white alike. Heroin has broken a lot of hearts in central Kentucky. We must strengthen our laws to fight this devastating drug.”
Attorney General Conway, prosecutors and law enforcement officers believe legislation must increase treatment beds and access to treatment for those charged with drug crimes.

“We cannot arrest our way out of this epidemic,” Attorney General Conway said.  “There aren’t enough jail cells and there aren’t enough courtrooms to fix this problem.”

The resurgence of heroin in Kentucky is an outgrowth of the prescription painkiller epidemic.  Heroin and opiate painkillers are an almost identical chemical compound that affects the brain the same way.

“We’ve done a tremendous job fighting the prescription pain pill problem in Kentucky,” Attorney General Conway said.  “In 2013, we passed legislation that closed half of the rogue pain clinics in this state.  As pain pills became more expensive and harder to get on the streets, we saw an uptick in heroin.   Those of us in law enforcement are doing everything we can, but we need the General Assembly to act and expand treatment for addicts who are stuck in a revolving door in Kentucky’s courts and jails.”

In January, Attorney General Conway announced that Judge Philip Shepherd directed $32 million from two settlements with pharmaceutical companies be used to improve public health in Kentucky.  The money has been used to expand adolescent treatment, provide scholarships for 800 people to Recovery Kentucky Centers, complete construction of a Recovery Kentucky Center near Ashland, keep open two treatment centers for pregnant women, and provide transitional housing for those completing treatment.


Queensland | Tough new laws bring serious prison time for assaults on healthcare providers

People who assault nurses, doctors and paramedics will face up to 14 years in prison under tough new laws introduced as part of the Queensland Government’s Safe Night Out Strategy.

Health Minister Lawrence Springborg said thousands of health workers were punched, stabbed, bitten and spat on every year in Queensland while serving the public in their daily duties.

“Assaults, whether they are physical or verbal, on our health workers will not be tolerated and the Queensland Government is appalled that even one nurse, doctor or paramedic is attacked. It is inexcusable and shameful behaviour,” he said.

“It is a startling reality that more than 24,500 health care employees reported being a victim of a violent incident at work in the past five financial years. More than 4,400 health workers in the last financial year alone were victims of violence in their workplace.

“As part of the Safe Night Out Strategy to stamp out violence, if you commit an aggravated serious assault on a nurse, doctor, paramedic – or any health professional – you could be hit with up to 14 years’ imprisonment.

“If you think it is okay to assault our health workers, we’ll give you up to 14 years to think again. It is simply not acceptable and that is why we have doubled the penalty.”

In 2013-14, 2,817 nurses suffered violence in the workplace, or 8.51 per cent, from a total Queensland nursing work force of more than 33,000. That compares to 3,016 nurses attacked or threatened in 2010-2011, or 9.3 per cent of the then workforce of more than 32,000.

“It has improved but any assault is unacceptable,’ Mr Springborg said.

Data shows that many of the violent attacks against health care workers were fuelled by alcohol and drugs.

The State Government has committed $44.5 million towards the Safe Night Out Strategy including education, stronger penalties, targeted policing, better prevention and safe environments.

“‘The Safe Night Out for health workers’ campaign launched today aims to prevent violence against health frontline employees who are just doing their job, and raise awareness of the increased penalty,” Mr Springborg said.

“The campaign features some graphic images of injuries to nurses, doctors and paramedics. It will largely be an online campaign and there will also be strategically placed posters in licensed venues across Queensland.”

To help safeguard frontline healthcare employees, Queensland Health has risk management processes in place and offers a range of occupational training to address aggressive and challenging behaviours.

Training can include early detection and prevention of violence, de-escalation techniques, methods to avoid or escape the situation and, if unavoidable, physical restraint techniques.



TAS | New ambulance laws make it illegal to identify oneself as a paramedic without proper qualifications


New ambulance laws to increase protection for Tasmanian patients and paramedics have come into effect.

The Ambulance Service Act 1982 introduces specific offences for assaulting, resisting, impeding or failing to comply with the direction of an ambulance officer.

The CEO of Ambulance Tasmania, Dominic Morgan, said the new laws provide improved safety for patients, community and of course our staff working in the ambulance service.

“Our paramedics deal with challenging circumstances every day and they must be allowed to go about their work without fear or obstruction,” Mr Morgan said.

Importantly from 1 July 2014 it will be an offence for a person to call themselves a paramedic who does not have the appropriate qualification permission of the Commissioner of Ambulance Services to do so.  This will give certainty to Event organisers and the community that a person calling themselves a paramedic has the requisite skills and qualifications to care for them safely.

It will also be an offence to mark a vehicle with the word Paramedic if it is not being staffed by an approved, legally qualified paramedic.

Mr Morgan said new standards are also introduced for commercial non-emergency patient transport providers.

“Where there are operators engaged in non-emergency patient transport the new laws ensure they are doing so within a strong, transparent and safe legislative framework,” Mr Morgan said.

“All providers must meet certain standards, including skill and competency levels.

“Existing non-emergency patient transport providers have been consulted about the changes and will have a two-year phase-in period.

“A further consultation process will be held as the Regulations to underpin the Act are developed.”

The changes ensure Tasmania is up-to-date with contemporary standards with a focus on protecting patients and paramedics.

Ambulance and emergency management practice has advanced considerably over the past thirty years and the previous legislation did not give a contemporary definition of paramedics and non-emergency patient transport services.

Areas covered by the new laws:

  • Strengthen provisions dealing with offences against the Ambulance Service.
  • Increase the penalty for false ambulance calls from 10 to 100 penalty units.
  • Clarify the power to force entry to premises in emergency situations to reach someone requiring emergency assistance.
  • Define the role of paramedics and provide legal protection to the title and clearly distinguish between emergency response services and other forms of patient services such as non-emergency patient transport.
  • Provide a power of direction for paramedics and clarifies their legal right to enter premises if they believe ambulance services are required.
  • Clarifies the role of paramedics in relation to other emergency services
  • Provide a licensing and regulatory framework for non-emergency patient transport.
  • Expand the offence of representing a motor vehicle as an ambulance
  • Prohibit the unauthorised use of Ambulance Tasmania insignia, logo or uniforms and all types of vehicles as well as persons.

Victoria | New laws protect emergency workers from attacks

Offenders who attack police officers or emergency workers while they are carrying out their duties will face tough new sentences under legislation being introduced to Parliament today (25 June).

The increased sentences will apply to offenders who attack workers including police, ambulance officers, fire-fighters, protective services officers, SES workers or lifesavers, as well as nurses, doctors or other staff in hospitals who provide or support emergency treatment.

“Those who intentionally inflict serious injuries on police or emergency workers can expect to spend at least three years behind bars, while those who recklessly inflict serious injuries can look to spend at least two years in jail,” the Premier, Denis Napthine said.

“If gross violence is involved, attackers will face a minimum of five years in jail, while those who murder a police officer or emergency worker will be subject to a baseline sentence carrying a 30 year jail term. Attacks causing other injuries will incur at least six months in jail.”

The minimum penalties will form part of the offender’s minimum non-parole period, and will apply unless the offender can demonstrate there is a genuinely ‘special reason’ in limited and carefully defined circumstances, such as co-operation with law enforcement authorities or proven mental impairment.

“Victoria is fortunate to have many dedicated police officers, front line medical personnel and other emergency workers who devote their careers or hours of unpaid voluntary time to helping others.

“These laws recognise the important role those in the front line have in serving, protecting and caring for all Victorians,” the Attorney-General, Robert Clark said.

“When police and emergency workers put themselves on the line to help others, they deserve the community’s protection and support. An attack on a police officer or emergency worker is an attack on our whole community.

“Penalties for those who engage in these attacks need to reflect the seriousness of the crime. Under our reforms those who attack and injure a police officer or emergency worker can expect to end up behind bars.

“These laws will better protect emergency workers so they can go about their duties without threats, intimidation or violence.

“Everyone deserves the right to be as safe as possible when they go to work, especially those who willingly face very dangerous situations such as those involving drug and alcohol-fuelled violence,” Mr Clark said.

Illinois | Dentists allowed to administer flu vax under new legislation

Governor Pat Quinn today signed legislation to expand medical access to those in need by expanding volunteer opportunities by medical professionals and allowing additional qualified medical professionals to administer flu vaccines. Today’s actions are part of Governor Quinn’s agenda to ensure all people have access to quality healthcare.

“Retired or inactive doctors healthcare professionals can and want to help those in need, and we should let them,” Governor Quinn said. “It’s just common sense to broaden access to health care, which is a fundamental right as a human being.”

House Bill 4593, sponsored by State Representative Michael Zalewski (D-Riverside) and State Senator Iris Martinez (D-Chicago), authorizes the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) to issue volunteer licenses to healthcare professionals such as physicians, dentists, physician assistants, nurses, advanced practice nurses and optometrists who meet all licensure qualifications and who wish to volunteer at a free medical clinic for no compensation. The law waives the licensure fee for the first 500 volunteer licenses and afterwards allows for a fee waiver or fee reduction. A healthcare professional may not hold a non-volunteer license and a volunteer license at the same time. The new law takes effect immediately.

“As chairperson of the Health Care Licensing Committee, I am always striving to increase access to high quality medical care,” Representative Zalewski said. “I thank Governor Quinn for signing this bill as it will be an important step toward keeping Illinoisans healthy.”

“When it comes to health care access, Illinois is a study in contrasts — home to state-of-the-art hospitals and highly educated specialists, but also to chronically underserved urban and rural areas,” Senator Martinez said. “Today we are making it easier for medical professionals to serve vulnerable populations, and we’re saying thank you to those willing to work for the public good without compensation.”

“We look forward to providing retired professionals the credentials they need to continue their life-long commitment to providing health care, especially to Illinois communities that have a greater need for access to health care,” IDFPR Acting Secretary Manuel Flores said.

Senate Bill 3409, sponsored by State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) and State Representative Laura Fine (D-Glenview), allows dentists with the appropriate training to administer flu vaccines to patients 18 years of age or older who have a prescription or physician’s order for the immunization. The new law takes effect immediately.

“The Affordable Care Act is allowing many more people access to health care,” Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) Director Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck said. “To help ensure we have the workforce needed to meet this demand, the state is identifying and implementing strategies to increase those able to provide health care – such as allowing dentists to administer flu vaccines.”

“In many parts of the state, locations that offer flu vaccinations are too few and far between. This new law will increase access to flu shots for Illinois families and hopefully, reduce the number of flu outbreaks in our communities,” Senator Manar said. “I’m pleased the Governor signed the bill, and I want to thank my colleagues on both sides of the aisle for their support.”

“Difficulty obtaining access to care can be a frustrating roadblock to good health,” Representative Fine said. “This bill will create a new, convenient avenue for patients to receive an important and sometimes lifesaving immunization. It will allow people greater opportunities to protect themselves against the flu.”

Today’s bill signing took place at the Third Mission of Mercy, an Illinois State Dental Society Foundation event where dentists from across Illinois volunteer for a weekend to provide free dental services to those in need.

Governor Quinn has long supported affordable and effective health care for all. He signed a law in 2010 to expand needed access to dental services by allowing licensed dentists to provide volunteer care at a nonprofit health clinic, which can then receive payments from the state. The clinics can use the Medicaid funding to pay for dental care costs such as equipment and supplies. The law will help encourage more dentists to treat low-income families throughout Illinois.

Also under Governor Quinn’s leadership, Illinois proposed a five-year plan to transform the state’s healthcare system, including strengthening the state’s health care workforce, to meet the needs of Medicaid beneficiaries. If approved, the proposal would allow the state to obtain $5.2 billion in federal matching funds over five years to implement the plan.

Governor Quinn has signed multiple pieces of legislation to clarify and expand the scope of practice for certain health care professionals in order to ensure that Illinois residents have access to the health care they need. He also supports efforts to streamline and expedite veteran applications for professional licenses to benefit military families seeking employment and consumers seeking access to qualified health care professionals.

Connecticut | Governor signs legislation protecting Good Sams for administration of Narcan

Governor Dannel P. Malloy, joined by CT Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS) Commissioner Pat Rehmer and other state and local officials, today held a bill signing ceremony for legislation (Public Act 14-61) that grants civil and criminal liability protection to a bystander who administers Naloxone Hydrochloride (known as Narcan) in good faith to someone who has overdosed.
The new law is 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,” said Governor Malloy. “This legislation may encourage someone to act to save a life and be the catalyst that causes someone battling addiction to seek treatment.”
The bill signing ceremony followed Governor Malloy’s participation in a multi-state Governor’s summit on Opiate Addictions earlier in the day in which the Governors announced a strategy addressing the epidemic that has impacted families and communities across the New England region.
Connecticut has been actively involved in efforts to combat deaths from overdoses including rapidly linking opiate addicted individuals to medication assisted treatment like Methadone, redoubling efforts to educate the public on the dangers of prescription drugs and heroin and implementing widespread drug take back days and prescription drug drop boxes to safely dispose of unneeded medication.
“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” said 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.”
“Drug overdose is a leading cause of death due to injury in the United States, and among people 20-64 years old, drug overdose causes more deaths than motor vehicle traffic crashes,” said Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Jewel Mullen.  “Naloxone (Narcan) is a safe and effective prescription medicine that reverses an opioid overdose.  Last week, the scope of practice for all licensed Connecticut EMS providers was expanded to include the administration of Naloxone.  This expansion, like this good Samaritan legislation, is an important strategy that will help prevent deaths in Connecticut due to opioid overdose.”
“Our focus has been on limiting improper access to pharmaceutical opioids,” Consumer Protection Commissioner William M. Rubenstein said.  “The state’s Prescription Monitoring Program is an important tool that helps pharmacists and prescribers assure that only medically necessary prescriptions are filled.  Our partnership with municipalities to provide convenient medication drop boxes takes no-longer-needed drugs out of homes and away from the easy reach of potential abusers.  While prevention and treatment of opioid abuse remains a high priority, this new law will help save the very lives that our prevention and treatment programs hope to help.”
“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.”
In 2012, Governor Malloy signed Public Act 12-159 to allow prescribers to provide naloxone prescriptions to individuals in close contact with a person struggling with opioid addiction so that a medical intervention can occur in the case of an opioid overdose.