Gibbs Introduces Legislation to Expand Use of Naloxone for First Responders

March 14, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC - With police officers and first responders increasingly at risk of exposure to dangerous opioids in the line of duty, access to medication that reverses drug overdoses is needed now more than ever. Many police departments, sheriff’s offices, and first responder units carry naloxone to administer to those experiencing an overdose.

Recently, police officers and first responders themselves have required naloxone treatment after incidental contact with dangerous drugs like fentanyl while responding to calls. In Ohio alone, officers in Columbus and East Liverpool were treated after exposure or overdose.

In response to these incidents and in an effort to increase access to naloxone for first responders, Congressman Bob Gibbs introduced the Help Ensure Responders Overdosing Emerge Safely Act. The bill adds naloxone to the list of approved equipment and resources for purchase through the federal Fire Prevention and Safety Grants Program and the COPS grants programs.

“As a nation we have committed ourselves to ending the opioid crisis. From bolstering addiction research to assisting states and federal law enforcement in tracking prescription abuse, Congress has opened lines of communication and collaboration,” said Congressman Gibbs. “But our first responders are the tip of the spear in fighting this epidemic. They see the immediate and personal effects on a daily basis, and recent news reports have shown they are at risk of overdose in the line of duty. Increased access to naloxone can save the lives of those needing treatment as well as their own lives. That’s why I introduced the HEROES Act, so overdose reversal medication can be purchased using federal police and first responder grants. Our communities’ police and first responder units should have every opportunity available to save lives.”

The text of the legislation can be found here.