Bill to Stop Overdose Deaths Passes Nevada Legislature - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Bill to Stop Overdose Deaths Passes Nevada Legislature

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Both houses of the Nevada Legislature have passed a bill that is meant to reduce fatal drug and alcohol overdoses.

Senate Bill 459, also known as the 'Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act,' passed the Nevada Assembly on Friday and is now making its way to the governor's desk for a signature.

The bill adds protections for people who try to help someone who may be overdosing.

The bill has two main parts-- first it puts a protection in place for people who call for help when someone they're with is overdosing. Under previous law, those people could be charged for things like drug use, possession or underage drinking.

Secondly-- it makes it legal for people to administer a drug to help counteract the effect of opioid drugs, like heroin or painkillers like codeine, vicodin, or oxycodone.

"It gives us enough time for the emergency personnel to respond. Our emergency personnel are fantastic in this area, but you've got to get them to the patient while they're still breathing."

Curt Fonken works at The Life Change Center where they treat patients for drug addiction. He says an overdose could happen at their facility and this bill will help them make sure it's not fatal.

And he says the bill will mean more people might call for help when it's needed instead of being afraid of getting punished themselves. "There's those that have tried to do the right thing and then it has backfired on them. This bill should eliminate that."

Governor Brian Sandoval is expected to sign the bill tomorrow in Las Vegas.
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