Maine

Maine Gov. LePage Vetoes Easier Naloxone Access; Essentially Signs Death Sentence for Some State Opiate Users

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Opiate drugs can be very dangerous, even fatal. Good thing, then, that an existing drug product, naloxone, has the ability to save the lives of people going through opiate overdoses, explaining why there is a national movement to get it over-the-counter legal federally.

VCU CNS via Foter.com / CC BY-NC

Maine's legislature had sensibly and humanely passed a bill (unanimously, without a roll call) to allow pharmacists to dispense naloxone without a prescription. (About 30 states already do.)

Yesterday Gov. Paul LePage made the destructive, awful move of vetoing it, reports the Portland Press-Herald.

The sinister politician justified his decision to keep a life-saving drug essentially unavailable (in a state with 272 overdose deaths in 2015) by saying it "serves only to perpetuate the cycle of addiction."

"Naloxone does not truly save lives; it merely extends them until the next overdose," this ignorant and destructive man wrote. "Creating a situation where an addict has a heroin needle in one hand and a shot of naloxone in the other produces a sense of normalcy and security around heroin use that serves only to perpetuate the cycle of addiction."

Reason on naloxone.

In a dark link to another big, sad news story today, it is being reported that Prince had himself used naloxone to reverse an opiate overdose within the past week. Naloxone is available without prescription in Prince's home state of Minnesota.