COLUMBUS, OH (WOIO) - The Ohio Senate has approved a bill intended to offer relief to family members of heroin addicts.
The antidote naloxone can now be legally carried by family members and also first responders.
Naloxone can be injected or used as a nasal spray.
When used properly the drug can reverse the effects of opiates in seconds.
Doctor Christina Delos Reyes the Program Director the Addiction Psychiatry Fellowship at University Hospitals Case Medical Center supported the bill's passage touting the antidote as safe, easy to use, and one which will save an estimated five lives per day.
"If you want to save more lives, put this in the hands of people who can help," said Reyes.
Opponents of the bill feared its passage would condone heroin abuse.
But, Doctor Reyes argued that two thirds of users who have had an overdose reduced consider it a wake up call and seek treatment.
Last year in Cuyahoga County, heroin killed more people than traffic accidents or homicide.
The House passed the bill in October and it now sits on Governor John Kasich's desk, where he has until March 1st to sign it into law.
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