New law looking to curve opioid overdoses

Opioids (Photo by K-State Research and Extension/CC BY 2.0)

Vicodin, Norco, and oxycontin.

These are all opioid pain killers your doctor can prescribe to you.

According to Healthy Kern County, a database of Kern County hospitals, there's nearly 200 deaths from overdosing each year.

Now, a new law is designed to lower that number. It requires doctors to co-prescribe a drug that can reverse an overdose. The drug is called naloxone or Narcan.

The law is for those who are high risk, including patients who have a history of substance abuse, and those who take high doses of prescription opioids. It will also include those who have children at home.

Jay Joson, the associate director of the pharmacy at Kern Medical says educating patients to know there's a product that can save their lives is important.

“I think access is too easy. It’s very easy for someone in pain to like, ‘I need a, I need more, I need more,’” Joson said. “It creates a dangerous cycle that they might not understand the addictive properties of the medication.”

Lawmakers say forcing high-risk patients to have naloxone on hand will work to prevent hundreds of accidental overdoses.

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