WHEREAS, Naloxone (“Narcan”) is an opioid antagonist medication developed in the 1960s; and
WHEREAS, Naloxone is a medication used to counter the effects of opioid overdose, for example heroin or morphine overdose; and
WHEREAS, in Delaware, Emergency Medical Services units have been administering Naloxone where appropriate for many years and in 2013 alone, Delaware EMS administered Naloxone to unresponsive persons 900 times, reviving 300. It is unknown how many of these persons had overdosed on opioids; and
WHEREAS, in Delaware, a pilot project began in March 2014 to allow Basic Life Support units who respond to calls in areas with high heroin use to carry Naloxone. Steps are being taken to expand the pilot statewide. Thirteen BLS companies across Delaware currently carry Naloxone. In the first month, Naloxone was administered 5 times by BLS and 3 of those people were revived; and
WHEREAS, in over 95% of cases where EMS or BLS units administer Naloxone, it is before police officers arrive at the scene; and
WHEREAS, prescriptions for Naloxone can be written for people with opioid addictions and purchased by friends and family to have available in case of an overdose; and
WHEREAS, people who administer Naloxone benefit from training regarding the use of and reactions to the medication, including the need to call 911 before administering it; and
WHEREAS, the number of heroin and other opioid overdoses is increasing and Naloxone has been well-established to reverse the effects of the opioids; and
WHEREAS, other states have begun providing more widespread access to Naloxone, saving lives; and
WHEREAS, people who are administered Naloxone can wake up violent and/or go into respiratory failure, thus it is important to persons administering Naloxone be trained in its use.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE:
Section 1. AMEND Chapter 1, Title 16 by making deletions as shown by strike through and insertions as shown by underline as follows:
§ 138 Community-Based Naloxone Access Program
(a) The Department shall:
(1) Promote the safe use of Naloxone to reduce deaths from opioid overdoses.
(2) Make education and training programs on the safe use of Naloxone available to people who hold doses of Naloxone for friends and family members who have an addiction to opioids.
(3) Establish a community-based Naloxone access program after researching best practices and obtaining grant funding. At a minimum, a community-based Naloxone access program will require participants to complete an approved training and education program prior to receiving doses of Naloxone and/or administering Naloxone. Naloxone may be distributed to people who complete the requirements set forth for this program.
Approved June 25, 2014