Senate Votes to Expand Access to Heroin Overdose ‘Antidote’

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CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Friends and family members of heroin users could soon be able to have a life-saving antidote to a heroin overdose on-hand at all times.

Friday the Ohio Senate approved House Bill 170 which allows doctors to write prescriptions for a drug called Naloxone to people other than the ones who will be taking the drug.

Naloxone quickly reverses the effect of a deadly heroin overdose.

**The Fox 8 I-Team this month compiled a series of reports on the area's heroin epidemic. CLICK HERE for those reports**

Doctors would be able to write a Naloxone prescription to "a family member, friend, or other individual who is in a position to assist an individual who is apparently experiencing or at risk of experiencing an opioid-related overdose," according to the bill.

"This is going to give us an opportunity to save lives. You just can't get someone into recovery who is dead," Rob Brandt said.

Brandt’s son, Robby, became addicted to opiates after having his wisdom teeth removed.

“The prescribing of prescription pills, and it migrated there to heroin addiction," Brandt said.

Robby graduated from Olmsted Falls High School and was set to deploy to Afghanistan, when East Cleveland police found him dead of a heroin overdose in 2011, six months after he started using.

"Most of these kids they're good kids. They just get caught up with something very powerful, very dangerous that they can't deal with," Brandt said.

H.B. 170 will also allow police officers and firefighters to carry Naloxone, if their departments choose to.

"Having lost someone to addiction to have another chance, to have another go at getting them clean, it's invaluable," Brandt said.

Proponents of the bill believe Governor John Kasich will sign it into law.

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