State Senate Approves Legislation To Increase Access To Naloxone

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The state senate has approved legislation, sponsored by Senator Doug Overbey (R-Maryville) and Representative Ryan Williams (R-Cookeville), to increase access to naloxone, the drug-overdose antidote to a variety of opiates, including heroin.  If timely administered, naloxone is specifically used to counteract life-threatening depression of the central nervous system and respiratory system and has been highly successful in preventing overdose deaths. 

The bill is scheduled for a vote in the Civil Justice Subcommittee in the house of representatives on Wednesday.

“Drug overdoses are preventable and too many families are losing a race against time as they struggle to find help for their addicted loved ones,” said Senator Overbey.  “Unfortunately, many young people never make it through the doors of a treatment center to receive the drug.  This legislation allows a person, after receiving appropriate instruction, to administer the prescribed antidote to help avoid a tragedy.”

“Lifesaving if needed, harmless if not, naloxone is already widely used by healthcare providers around Tennessee--but imagine the horrified parent confronted with a child who has overdosed in their home; minutes count and their ability to give naloxone means the difference between a chance at recovery and the tragedy of a funeral,” said Tennessee Commissioner of Health, Dr. John Dreyzehner, “As we work to stem this deadly epidemic, improving access to naloxone will literally save lives of our children, parents, siblings and friends around Tennessee.”  

Senate Bill 1631 would authorize health care professionals to prescribe the drug naloxone to a person at risk of experiencing an opiate-related overdose.  It would also allow the physician to prescribe the drug to a family member, friend or other person in a position to assist a person experiencing an opiate-related overdose, as long as the doctor provides written communication establishing a factual basis that a person is at risk.  The bill provides a prescribing physician or person administering the drug immunity from civil liability.

“Over the last decade, drug addiction has become a widespread problem in our state, and in too many cases, this addiction leads to loss of life,” said Rep. Williams. “I believe we must do all we can to prevent such tragedies from taking place, and that is why I am sponsoring this legislation in the House.  Combined with other initiatives currently being worked on, we all truly hope this legislation provides families with another means of protecting their loved ones from the unfortunate reality of drug addiction.”

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has reported that every 19 minutes, one person dies from an accidental overdose from prescription drug abuse.  Law enforcement authorities told lawmakers last month that heroin is on the rise in Tennessee.

“We are very pleased that this bill has been approved by the senate, and hopeful that it will pass the House and be signed into law,” Senator Overbey said.


Erlanger Opens Sixth Emergency Department To Serve Sequatchie Valley

Residents of the Sequatchie Valley are invited to tour the area’s only 24/7 emergency center during Open House festivities for the new Sequatchie Valley Emergency Department on Sunday from 2 - 4 p.m. (CDT), at 16931 Rankin Avenue in Dunlap, Tn. To celebrate the grand opening of the new emergency center, officials with Erlanger Health System will hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony ... (click for more)

Morning Pointe Hosts Car Wash And Hot Dog Sale This Saturday

Morning Pointe of Chattanooga will be having a car wash and hot dog sale this Saturday from 8 a.m. – noon at the assisted living facility. All proceeds will go to the Alzheimer’s Association.   (click for more)

One Of Oldest Log Homes At University Of The South Suffers Heavy Fire Damage

The oldest log home at the University of the South at Sewanne suffered heavy damage on Friday night. Fire broke out at the historic Rebel’s Rest at approximately 11:30 p.m. Fire units arrived a short time later, but flames were shooting high in the air. Rebel's Roost was built as the family home of Major George Fairbanks a year after the close of the Civil War. The house ... (click for more)

Corker Says Congress Needs Time To Review Plan For VA Reforms

As negotiations between the Senate and the House of Representatives over legislation to reform the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) continue,  Senator Bob Corker urged that lawmakers have the opportunity to review a complete Congressional Budget Office (CBO) score on any final conference VA bill before taking a vote. “Our veterans deserve solutions to the systemic problems ... (click for more)

Chuck Is Doing His Job - And Response (6)

Four years ago we conservatives sent Chuck Fleischmann to Washington to basically say no to Obama and every program he tried to sneak through.  He did such a good job at this we sent him back two years ago. Now this young whippersnapper comes along and wants to go to Washington under the Republican title to cross the isles and negotiate with Obama and the Democrats. Is ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Two Wrongs Not Right

Scottie Mayfield is a delightful friend of mine but he’s the last guy in the world who should be aiming at anybody’s character. He’s always had class but today Scottie is the “star” of a shameful political commercial in which he assails challenger Weston Wamp on behalf of a panicked Chuck Fleischmann. Mayfield, you’ll remember, ran against the two in the last race for the District ... (click for more)