Governor Scott Walker has signed a bill that could make it easier to save the lives of persons overdosing on drugs. The legislation which passed with bipartisan support in the state Assembly and Senate, allows Wisconsinites to walk into a pharmacy and buy Narcan. Narcan, or nalaxone, is a drug that immediately counteracts the effect of opiates, heroin or pain medication in the event of an overdose.
It’s used by paramedics, police and other first responders, and if administered properly and soon enough, can reverse the sometimes fatal results of a drug OD. State Representative John Nygren (R-Marinette), the main sponsor of the bill, said the first step for people to turn their lives around is to be alive.
Nygren’s bill clarifies that pharmacies can administer Narcan under a doctor’s standing order.
Nygren said that as laws crack down on prescription drug availability and abuse, more people will be turning to drugs like heroin. He does not see the expanded availability of narcan as an invitation for drug users to keep abusing. “It’s a very painful process that you go through,” Nygren said.