LANSING, MI. – Gov. Rick Snyder has signed legislation that will help save the lives of residents who overdose on narcotic drugs by requiring that EMS responders be trained to administer opioid medications aboard life support vehicles.
This is the very same type of legislation that Sheriff Michael Bouchard testified in the Senate Judiciary Committee on September 30th, 2014, on Senate Bill 1049 which would give law enforcement officers the ability to carry Naloxone to reverse opioid and heroin overdoses.
These medications, known as opioid antagonists, have the ability to reverse the deadly effects of a narcotic overdose.
“We must help tackle drug use, an issue affecting too many families across the country. This legislation better prepares first responders for emergency situations concerning drug overdoses in Michigan,” Snyder said. “The new training will give Michiganders a better chance of survival.”
Snyder signed House Bill 5407, sponsored by state Rep. Anthony Forlini, during the Women Strengthening Michigan forum in Macomb County. The governor was joined by event panelist Clinton Township District Court Judge Linda Davis who founded Families Against Narcotics as well as advocates from Bryan’s HOPE (Heroin & Opiate Prevention & Education).
“This legislation will save the lives of many young people and is a proactive approach in dealing with the opiate epidemic that plagues our nation,” Judge Davis said. “This effort is appreciated by the families and friends of those fighting addiction.”
Prior to the forum, Snyder signed the remainder of the bill package – HB 5404, HB 5405 and Senate Bill 857 – sponsored by state Reps. Hugh Crawford, Forlini and state Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker, respectively. The bills are now Public Acts 311, 312, 313 and 314 of 2014.
“This is a growing problem affecting every Main Street in Macomb County and across the state,” Forlini said. “It has a negative impact on all of our families and we need to address it. This is a great step forward and I appreciate the support of the governor and many others in tackling this problem.”
Under the legislation, prescribers can also dispense the medication under certain circumstances to friends or family of individuals who may be at risk of experiencing a heroin-related overdose. In addition, first responders and civilians are exempt from criminal prosecution or professional sanctions for administering these medications in good faith to those with immediate need.
Monday marked the first of a three-part Women Strengthening Michigan conversation series highlighting female leaders and innovators discussing various policy issues and the vital role women play in strengthening Michigan. For more information visit www.michigan.gov/MIStrong.
For more information on the legislation, visit www.legislature.michigan.gov.