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Heroin Overdose Antidote: Who Gets to Carry It?

April 4, 2014
by Katie Zezima
Associated Press (ABC news)

Supporters say the opportunity to save potentially thousands of lives outweighs any fears by critics that the promise of a nearby antidote would only encourage drug abuse.

At least 17 states and the District of Columbia allow naloxone — commonly known by the brand name Narcan — to be distributed to the public, said Jeffrey Levi, executive director of Trust for America's Health, a national nonprofit that focuses on preventive health care. And at least 10 of those states allow for third parties, such as a family member or friend of an intravenous drug user, to be prescribed it.

Among them is New Jersey, which passed a law last year that allows members of the public to carry naloxone — administered through a nasal spray or injection into a muscle — after getting training.

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