Lawmakers push to further expand access to overdose antidote

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) -- After successfully widening access to a drug-overdose antidote in Maine last year, lawmakers are making another push to put naloxone in the hands of more people close to drug users.

But the effort faces continued opposition from Republican Gov. Paul LePage, who argues that making the anti-overdose antidote too readily available could encourage drug use.

A measure introduced by Democratic Rep. Henry Beck would allow a friend of an addict or "another person in a position to assist" to administer naloxone, also known by the brand name Narcan. It also aims to make it easier for those who need the anti-overdose drug to get it.

While supporters say it's a common-sense move to save lives, LePage said Tuesday that professionals should be dealing with drug issues, "not just everybody's friend."


Gov. LePage to support Narcan family access


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