OLR Bill Analysis

sHB 5487

AN ACT PROVIDING IMMUNITY TO A PERSON WHO ADMINISTERS AN OPIOID ANTAGONIST TO ANOTHER PERSON EXPERIENCING AN OPIOID-RELATED DRUG OVERDOSE.

SUMMARY:

This bill provides civil and criminal immunity for someone who (1) is not a licensed health care professional and (2) administers an opioid antagonist (such as Narcan) to someone the person believes in good faith is experiencing an opioid-related drug overdose. For the immunity to apply, the person must act with reasonable care.

Existing law allows licensed health care practitioners authorized to prescribe an opioid antagonist, if acting with reasonable care, to prescribe, dispense, or administer it to treat or prevent a drug overdose without being civilly or criminally liable for such action or for its subsequent use. Thus, these practitioners can prescribe opioid antagonists to people who are not their patients, such as family members, for them to assist a person experiencing a drug overdose.

Under existing law and the bill, an “opioid antagonist” is defined as naloxone hydrochloride (Narcan) or any other similarly acting and equally safe drug that the Food and Drug Administration has approved for treating a drug overdose.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2014

COMMITTEE ACTION

Judiciary Committee

Joint Favorable Substitute

Yea

35

Nay

0

(03/24/2014)