HELENA — A life-saving opiate overdose reversal drug known as naloxone is now extra accessible in Montana due to a legislation handed within the 2017 legislative session that has now been totally carried out, state officers mentioned Thursday.

“The opioid epidemic is one we are all battling,” Gov. Steve Bullock informed folks from such fields as medical, legislation enforcement and emergency providers gathered on the Helena Fire Station on the Civic Center. He added opioids are an “invisible” epidemic which have killed 700 folks in Montana since 2000.

Opioids embrace prescription painkillers resembling hydrocodone, oxycodone, morphine and codeine, state officers mentioned, in addition to unlawful medication resembling heroin. State officers mentioned that yearly there are 89 hospital admissions and 66 emergency division visits related to opioid use in Montana. Four of these hospital admissions and 12 of the emergency division visits have been amongst these below 18.  

Bullock known as naloxone “another tool in the toolbox to help first responders save lives.”

Dr. William Gallea of St. Peter’s Health mentioned naloxone is a “safe” drugs that’s squirted into the nostril or injected right into a muscle to wake folks up and badist them to begin respiration.

“It saves lives faster than it took me to say this sentence,” he mentioned.

He mentioned now the drug may be given to high school districts.

State officers mentioned they’ve acquired $5 million in federal grants that can be used over a two- to three-year interval for this system.

Sheila Hogan, director of the Department of Public Health and Human Services, mentioned a standing order permits pharmacists to prescribe naloxone to eligible recipients  
 
The new legislation, HB 333, permits the state to problem a standing order to prescribe on a statewide foundation to eligible recipients. Rep. Frank Garner, R-Kalispell, was the first sponsor of the invoice. Officials additionally credited Rep. Gordon Pierson, D-Deer Lodge, for his work on the invoice as properly. Prior to its pbadage, Montana was one among 5 states that didn’t have naloxone entry legal guidelines, officers mentioned.
 
This permits skilled first responders, public well being professionals and others to hold and administer naloxone.

Dr. Nicole Clark of the Montana Medical Association mentioned her group helped deliver this laws ahead as a result of it saves lives. 

“Montana, like many states, has suffered too many opioid deaths,” mentioned Dr. Clark. “Physicians are prescribing few opioids in Montana. This added measure is something we know will prevent future tragedies.”

The Department of Public Health and Human Services additionally will provide a coaching program later this yr to show first responders, legislation enforcement officers and others the best way to administer the drug.

DPHHS State Medical Officer Dr. Greg Holzman mentioned alcohol abuse stays Montana’s No. 1 drawback.

He mentioned opioids haven’t hit Montana as laborious as some locations such because the East Coast, nevertheless it has develop into an issue.

“It’s time for all hands on deck,” he mentioned.

He mentioned naloxone brings Montana one step nearer to fixing the opioid drawback.

“This gives people a second chance,” he mentioned.

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