A new Tennessee law is now in effect that allows pharmacist to give naloxone to those at risk of opioid overdose.
The Tennessee General Assembly passed Public Chapter 596 earlier this year. State Sen. Doug Overby, R-Maryville, was a sponsor of the legislation.
The law allows authorized pharmacists to dispense naloxone to a person at risk of opioid overdose or to a family member, friend or other person to assist someone at risk of an opiate-related overdose.
There were more than 1,200 opioid-related overdose deaths in Tennessee in 2014.
Pharmacists must go through “opioid antagonist therapy” training and enter a collaborative agreement with the Tennessee Department of Health’s chief medical officer before they can dispense naloxone.
“Administering naloxone can prevent death in many opioid overdoses by reversing the life-threatening effects of opioids almost immediately, allowing time, and this is critical, for the person to reach further medical treatment,” said Tennessee Health Commissioner John Dreyzehner, MD, MPH. “This ‘overdose antidote’ can save lives and give more people a second chance at recovery.”
(© 2016 WBIR)