New bill to increase access to narcan in Arkansas

Published: Mar. 7, 2023 at 6:11 PM CST
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - A bill in the Arkansas House would make it easier to access treatment to combat drug overdoses in the state.

Current Arkansas law already allows first responders, among others, to access Narcan.

“In 2017, Arkansas enacted legislation to put Naloxone, commonly known as Narcan, in the hands of police officers, first responders, folks who work in homeless shelters, things of that nature.,” said District 28 State Representative Bart Schulz.

House Bill 1562 looks to clean up the law surrounding Narcan, making it even more accessible.

“The problem that has been identified, it’s very good legislation, it’s a very good program, but it’s still kind of hard to get the Naloxone into the hands of these people,” Schulz said. “The intent of this is this bill is going to make it easier for folks to access the Naloxone.”

The lawmaker said he had seen firsthand how Narcan can save lives as a first responder, which is why he is filing the bill.

“In my real-world job, I’ve seen Naloxone work. It’s really miraculous what it does for someone that is in the middle of an overdose,” Schulz said.

The bill will be discussed by the public health committee on Thursday, March 9.