MACo Pushes for Local Efforts to Prevent Drug Overdose Deaths

Natasha Mehu, MACo Policy Analyst, presented testimony to the House Government and Operations Committee on March 3, in support of HB 745, Overdose Response Program. This bill would alter the Overdose Response Program to help ensure that more of the people who are best situated to prevent an overdose are trained and equipped to do so. Importantly, the bill includes immunity protections for health care providers and persons under the program.

The written testimony explains:

Under the ORP, individuals are trained and certified to administer naloxone, a life-saving medicine that reverses an opioid overdose. The program is overseen by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene which authorizes private or public entities, such as local health departments or public safety agencies, to conduct educational training programs for the use of the medication. Since the program was launched, approximately 4,842 individuals have been trained to administer naloxone. This includes 2,306 law enforcement officers. Additionally, 4,744 doses of naloxone have been dispensed and the Department has received 57 reports of the medicine subsequently being administered by an individual trained under the program.

For more on MACo’s 2015 legislation, visit the Legislative Database.