The Emergency Treatment and Recovery Act Will Save Lives in Florida If Passed
House Bill (HB) 751 will make overdose reversal medications available to opiate users if passed by the legislature, according to HT Politics. The recent death of two college students of the New College of Florida may have prompted the resurged push for this bill to come to fruition. If passed, medications like narcan and naloxone will be available to police officers, first responders, and firefighters. Opiate overdose reversal medicines rescue victims of overdose by clearing out opiate based substances from their opiate receptors, allowing them to breathe again. These life saving medications are currently only available to emergency personnel working in hospitals. HB 751 wants to change that for Florida. In addition to granting permissions for opiate reversal medications for officials, the bill grants permission to persons with frequent contact with a loved one struggling with an opiate addiction who have not yet gone to heroin rehabilitation.
HT Politics quotes representative Julio Gonzalez, “This medication would be used only in the direst, life-saving circumstances, these are real problems. These are real issues. These are lives that we are able to save from one day to the next just by enacting this bill.”
Around other states in the country some believe overdose reversal medications are dangerous safety nets, wherein drug users will feel comfortable not getting drug treatment because medications are available to save them in the event of a deadly overdose. What these concerns do not address are the medley of unpleasantries induced by overdose reversal medications. Once injected (typically as a nasal spray) narcan and the like induce withdrawal symptoms immediately: vomiting, intense cravings, sickness, fevers, and all around unpleasantries. Most substance users avoid drug and alcohol detoxification because these are the very things they don’t want to experience. The anxiety of withdrawal is one of the predominate factors keeping drug and alcohol use disorders alive and well.
Overdose reversal medications may be the wakeup call many need to get help for their addictions. Additionally, medications like narcan give family members peace of mind, equipping them with lifesaving treatment in the event of the worst.
About the Author
Alexandrea Holder is a South Florida native working toward double Master’s degrees in Psychology and English. She finds the psychological aspects of addiction and mental illness fascinating, as both are prevalent in her family’s history. When not researching and spreading addiction awareness, Alexandrea enjoys sparring, artistic pursuits, and admiring puppies online.