PENNSYLVANIA - Gov. Tom Corbett plans to approve a bill that supporters say will reduce the number of fatal heroin overdoses in Pennsylvania. The legislation makes an antidote commonly called Narcan [Naloxone] more available to police and the public. It also offers "good Samaritans" immunity from criminal prosecution for helping overdose victims.
Corbett will sign the bill Tuesday afternoon at a ceremony in Johnstown. A legislative study found drug overdoses skyrocketed in Pennsylvania's urban and rural areas between 1990 and 2011.
A drug called naloxone reverses the effects of heroin and opioids like OxyContin. Police and friends and relatives of addicts will have wider access to the antidote, whose brand name is Narcan.
At least 17 other states have similar laws. Pennsylvania's statute will take effect in 60 days.
The Sun Herald/Sept. 30, 2014
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