Virginia Approves Naloxone for Law Enforcement

By Victoria Kim 07/07/15

Naloxone has successfully reversed more than 10,000 overdoses since 1996.

Naloxone kit
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A series of bills aimed at tackling Virginia’s heroin and prescription drug epidemic went into effect last week, one of which authorizes any law enforcement agency in Virginia to administer the overdose antidote naloxone.

In 2014, state Attorney General Mark Herring announced a five-part plan to combat the opioid crisis in Virginia, including education, prevention, outreach, and more accountability from heroin dealers and medical professionals who distribute the drugs. He also established a Good Samaritan policy, which would provide limited immunity from prosecution for minor possession or intoxication offenses for those who report an overdose.

“In the last five years, more than 3,000 Virginians have died from a heroin or prescription drug overdose and I cannot accept that,” said Herring. “It’s going to take the dedicated work of public health, public safety, and elected officials at the state, federal, and local level to get this problem turned around. Heroin and prescription drugs are claiming the lives of Virginians of all ages and all backgrounds in every corner of the state."

"It’s a crisis that doesn’t discriminate," he continued. "I think these bills will help save lives and I thank all the legislators that carried the bills, the family members and advocates who testified to their importance, and the law enforcement professionals and prosecutors that will use these tools.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, naloxone has successfully reversed more than 10,000 overdoses between 1996 and 2010.

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