Kasich signs bill to bring anti-overdose drug to schools

Ohio Gov. John Kasich has signed a bill expanding the use of an anti-overdose drug as part of the state's fight against the addictions epidemic killing thousands each year

A Naloxone nasal injector is demonstrated during a news conference at the Oakley Kroger Marketplace store to announce the supermarket chain's decision to offer the opioid overdose reversal medicine without a prescription, Friday, Feb. 12, 2016, in Cincinnati. Naloxone is routinely carried by fire-rescue crews, which use it thousands of times a year in Ohio to revive overdose victims. Kroger, based in Cincinnati, has 2,774 supermarkets and multi-department stores in 35 states and the District of Columbia. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Naloxone, heroin antidote (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – Ohio Gov. John Kasich has signed a bill expanding the use of an anti-overdose drug as part of the state’s fight against the addictions epidemic killing thousands each year.

The bill the Republican governor signed Wednesday afternoon will make the antidote naloxone, sold as Narcan, available to schools, homeless shelters, halfway houses and treatment centers.

The bill also requires thousands of pharmacy technicians to be registered by the state for the first time.

The state pharmacy board says pharmacy technicians were responsible for a third of about 140 pharmacy drug thefts over the past three years.

Ohio saw a record 3,050 overdose deaths last year. Many of those deaths were attributed to painkillers and heroin abuse.

In October, nearly 130 schools in Pennsylvania received two free doses of naloxone. The drug, if needed, would be delivered in a nasal spray.

In Mercer County, Sharon High School has been approved to have the drug on hand. In Lawrence County, Ellwood City School District and Lawrence County CTC have been approved. FULL LIST OF APPROVED SCHOOLS.

Pennsylvania Secretary of Health, Doctor Karen Murphy, is commending those schools for providing drug education and awareness. She says it’s essential to fighting the epidemic.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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