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Easier Access To Overdose Drug Could Save Lives

Taber Andrew Bain

A task force appointed by the governor says first responders need quick and easy access to a drug that’s been proven to save lives during a heroin overdose.

There were over 1,200 drug related emergency calls in NH last year. Seventy people died from heroin overdoses.

But the drug task force’s expects higher numbers in 2014, which is why it wants first responders to have easy access to a nasal spray called naloxone. That drug has proven to be effective in saving the lives of people in the throes of an opioid overdose.

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Most of the state’s EMS responders are trained to use the drug, but the task force – which included some of the state’s top safety and medical officials  – recommends police and fire fighters be trained to administer the drug. It also advises loosening pharmaceutical access to naloxone for the family and friends of addicts.

Governor Maggie Hassan plans to review the recommendations.

Before joining NHPR in August 2014, Jack was a freelance writer and radio reporter. His work aired on NPR, BBC, Marketplace and 99% Invisible, and he wrote for the Christian Science Monitor and Northern Woodlands.
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