House gives tentative OK to bill preventing heroin overdoses

By Ryan Van Velzer
Associated Press

PHOENIX (AP) - The House has given initial approval to a bill that would authorize first responders to administer a drug that stops people from overdosing on heroin or prescription opioids.

Several other states including Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Kentucky allow officers and EMTs to use the drug Naloxone to revive overdose victims who are having trouble breathing.

Republican Rep. Heather Carter of Cave Creek says an increasing number of Arizona residents are overdosing on opiates and her bill would give first responders the tools they need to save lives.

Dr. Cara Khrist of the Arizona Department of Health Services says her department has already approved the use of Naloxone on ambulances under the guidance of a medical director.

House Bill 2489 received initial approval Thursday and now awaits a formal vote.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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