Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has signed a bill that permits police, firefighters and emergency medical technicians to obtain and administer an antidote for heroin overdoses.
Nixon signed House Bill 2040 on Thursday during a visit to a fire house in the eastern Missouri town of Byrnes Mill. The legislation takes effect Aug. 28.
A single dose of naloxone, when administered in time, can reverse an overdose of heroin or legally-prescribed opioid pain medication. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie signed a similar measure last month.
Until now, only paramedics with an order from their medical director were allowed to stock and administer the antidote. Naloxone can be administered through nasal spray, auto-injector or syringe. The bill also authorizes licensed drug distributors or pharmacies to sell the drug to first responder agencies.