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The Rolla Daily News - Rolla, MO
  • Sen. Dan Brown: The Case for Drug Overdose Legislation

  • At the end of February, Rep. Steve Lynch introduced HB 2040 in the House of Representatives with near unanimous support. It then moved on to the senate, where I gladly accepted handling this legislation to its passage. This bill would allow qualified first responders to obtain and administer naloxone, a drug used to counter t...
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  • At the end of February, Rep. Steve Lynch introduced HB 2040 in the House of Representatives with near unanimous support. It then moved on to the senate, where I gladly accepted handling this legislation to its passage. This bill would allow qualified first responders to obtain and administer naloxone, a drug used to counter the effect of opioid overdoses, to a person suffering from an apparent narcotic or opiate-related overdose. The bill also states that any licensed drug distributor or pharmacy in Missouri would be allowed to sell naloxone to qualified first responder agencies and allow those agencies to stock the drug.
    In my district and across the state of Missouri, we are seeing more and more overdoses from high-grade heroin brought into the area. It’s become such an epidemic, that U.S. Attorney General Holder has addressed this as a nation-wide problem. Last Thursday, when I returned to the district, there had been seven overdoses of heroin, including in one death in my area. Rolla Police Chief Mark Kearse has stated that a very dangerous batch of heroin entering the area has him concerned, and that the area’s treatment centers aren’t equipped to handle the growing number of users, making the issue even more perilous.
    The first few minutes of an overdose can be the difference between life and death. Since Naloxone is a classified drug, HB 2040 will put this product in the hands of those who have been trained to recognize a narcotic or opioid overdose. Allowing that qualified first responder to administer the drug will lead to more lives saved. Time is of the essence when administering a reversal drug. It is important to me that the constituents of our district, as well as our state, be given every opportunity for the help needed to try and avert these senseless deaths.
    Since passing the Senate, HB 2040 now moves to the governor for his signature.
    Always feel free to contact me throughout the year with any comments, questions, or issues by calling my office at (573) 751-5713 or by visiting my website at www.senate.mo.gov/brown.
    Thank you for reading this and for your participation in state government.
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