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Miner urges streamlining overdose response

“Withholding resources at this time could be deadly. Let’s make these funds available now.” State Sen. Craig Miner (R-30)

LITCHFIELD — State Sen. Craig Miner (R-30) is urging the state Legislature to streamline the process of getting non-medical school personnel trained in spotting opioid overdoses and in administering opiate antagonist medication.

In a phone interview Saturday, March 5, Miner said he testified in front of the Legislature’s Committee on Children last week.

“We want to make sure every school has a supply of opiate antagonists,” he said March 5.

Miner added that he hopes the state Board of Education will create a model policy for school districts to adopt.

Such a policy would “assist in training non-medical professionals in overdose recognition and ministration” of opiate antagonists such as naloxone (trade name ”Narcan”).

Miner testified in front of the committee as it considered legislation that includes training and recognition of substance use and abuse. He said that as the legislation stands, recognition of substance use acts as “a trigger” for making funds available for naloxone.

Miner’s idea is to streamline the process.

“Withholding resources at this time could be deadly,” he said. “Let’s make these funds available now.”

Miner said that in a post-testimony conversation with state Sen. Saud Anwar (D-3), one of the committee’s co-chairs, Anwar indicated the committee was inclined to agree with Miner’s point.

The Legislature is also considering bills that would increase the criminal penalty for dealing in fentanyl, a powerful opioid that is added to heroin, or in some cases sold as heroin.

Miner said he believes there is more fentanyl (or fentanyl analogues) in street heroin than anyone suspects.

“It’s so lethal,” he said. “To have it in the same category with less-lethal drugs seems problematic.”

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