Kansas House advances prevention of opioid-related death

Kansas Statehouse (KSN File Photo)

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) – Kansas lawmakers have advanced a bill that would expand access to drugs that stop opioid overdoses as health care providers and law enforcement officers grapple with a national epidemic.

The House gave unanimous first-round approval to the bill Thursday. A final vote of approval would send it to the Senate.

The measure would allow first responders to administer the drugs to people experiencing overdose symptoms after taking opioid drugs that include heroin and some prescription drugs.

Republican Rep. Greg Lakin of Wichita said 47 states allow some type of first responder to administer the drugs. Lakin is a physician who introduced the bill in committee.

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says prescription opioid overdose deaths have quadrupled since 1999.