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Pavley bill would provide overdose ‘antidote’ to first responders

Posted: May 4, 2014 2:00 a.m.
Updated: May 4, 2014 2:00 a.m.

A bill from a Santa Clarita Valley legislator that would ensure emergency responders have access to an “antidote” that can help reverse some of the effects of heroin and prescription pill overdoses is currently making its way through the state Senate.

The bill, Senate Bill 1438, comes from state Sen. Fran Pavley, D-Agoura Hills, and would make sure first responders such as police officers are equipped with naloxone, which can reverse the effects of many types of opioid overdoses.

“Prescription painkiller abuse afflicts people of all ages and backgrounds,” said Pavley, in a news release. “Making naloxone available to law enforcement can prevent needless deaths and give victims a second chance to seek treatment and break their addiction.”

Naloxone works by blocking the portions of the brain that take in opioids. Doing so can restore breathing to an overdose victim and allow extra time to reach a hospital, according to officials.

Naloxone can also be administered intravenously or as a nasal spray and has no effect on individuals that have not taken opioids, according to Pavley’s office.

At least six other states have passed or have pending legislation that would explicitly authorize emergency first responders to carry and administer naloxone, according to Pavley’s office.

“I think anything that we can do as a society to protect people, that’s what we’ve got to do,” said Cary Quashen, founder and president of Action Family Counseling. “And we know that this medicine can help turn the tide and save lives.”

Action Family Counseling is a drug and alcohol treatment and rehabilitation program.

Heroin use has, in recent years, proven to be a substantial problem in the Santa Clarita Valley and has played a role in a number of deaths.

Quashen said Action is continuing to work with the city, Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station and other stakeholders to combat the issue.

“Knowledge is power,” he said. “And we’re getting the knowledge out there.”

SB 1438 has already been reviewed and passed by the Senate Health and Public Safety Committees, according to Pavley’s office.
On Twitter @LukeMMoney


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