Elmira/Corning Regional Airport

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Bill Expands Heroin Antidote Access

Written By: Tanja Rekhi
New Bill Expands Heroin Antidote Access

CORNING (WENY) -- A new bill passed by the New York legislature has some local pharmacists concerned. It could put naloxone, a drug that reverses heroin overdoses, in the hands of addicts and caretakers immediately.
    The law currently only allows doctors to prescribe naloxone to a specific person and gives first responders like officers and EMT's permission to carry the kits.
     The new bill would allow health care professionals and pharmacies to give naloxone out, without a prescription, to at-risk people and thos who know them.
     The bill passed both houses unanimously. Advocates say this will give access to those in need when they need it. However, opponents say frequent users may see naloxone as a safety net now.
     "I think it's a double edged sword," said Pharmacy Technician Melissa Hogue. "It will be good in the fact that there will be a treatment readily available through other medical professionals to treat the rising issue. But at the same time, it's kind of an open invitation for an easy get away."
   She explained people might abuse it knowing that naloxone would be easily available and may just go back at it again.
    Governor Cuomo still has to sign the bill into law.
    In a statement he said “We will be reviewing this legislation, as well as other ways to combat heroin addiction in New York. There is no doubt that this is a critically important issue that needs to be addressed.”
     Local pharmacists hope he will address safety. They think there could be more break-ins for the kits and also put first responders at risk as well.