Ohio bill would expand access to drug overdose antidote

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio bill would expand the availability of a drug overdose antidote being used across the state to save addicts on the brink of death.

The legislation is aimed at reducing the state’s record-high number of fatal overdoses from heroin and painkillers, now the leading cause of accidental death in Ohio, surpassing car crashes.

The bill scheduled for a possible vote in the House Health and Aging Committee Wednesday would allow individuals authorized by a physician to distribute naloxone to an addict or family member or friend in a position to intervene during an overdose.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Robert Sprague, a Findlay Republican, and Rep. Jeff Rezabek, a Republican from Clayton in suburban Dayton, also allows pharmacies to distribute the drug without a prescription.

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