Senate passes Wojno bill to combat opioid overdoses

Legislation would allow government agencies in Michigan to administer naloxone

LANSING — The Michigan Senate today passed a bill introduced by Sen. Paul Wojno (D-Warren) that would allow governmental agencies and employees to administer naloxone, also known by the brand name Narcan, in case of an emergency opioid overdose. 

“The opioid epidemic has devastated communities and families across Michigan, and this bipartisan package of bills will increase access to lifesaving medicine in case of emergencies,” Sen. Wojno said. “As lawmakers, it’s our responsibility to serve the people of Michigan, and my legislation will help save lives and give individuals a second chance at beating their addiction.”

Naloxone quickly restores normal breathing to save the life of a person who is overdosing on opioids, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

The bill package, which includes Senate Bill 200 sponsored by Sen. Wojno — as well as Senate Bills 282 and 283, and House Bill 4367 — would update Michigan law to expand the types of people who can administer naloxone and require individuals of those entities to be trained in administering the anti-drug. The legislation also protects employees from civil liability if injuries or damages result from the naloxone administration under certain circumstances.

In 2017, there were 2,033 overdose deaths involving opioids in Michigan. Synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl, have been a large part of that, accounting for 1,368 deaths in 2017 — roughly an 1,800% increase since 2012.

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