Following yesterday's approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of a new treatment device for heroin and opioid overdoses, Governor Maggie Hassan applauded the FDA for its decision to approve an auto-injector for naloxone, also known as Narcan.
Governor Hassan also announced that the state Medical Control Board has authorized all certified emergency medical technicians to begin administering Narcan.
"I commend the FDA's swift decision to approve this new device for emergency treatment of opioid overdoses, providing another important tool in the fight to save individuals from becoming victims of substance abuse," Governor Hassan said. "The rising rates of heroin abuse and overdoses represent one of the most pressing public health and safety challenges facing New Hampshire, and this critical decision will enhance our ongoing efforts to ensure the health and safety of our communities."
In order to address the challenge posed by New Hampshire's rising rates opioid overdoses, the Governor has brought together a working group of public health and safety officials to determine the most appropriate response for the state. One of the group's first actions was to re-examine which medical responders could administer Narcan.
"Increasing the safe and effective use of this emergency treatment for overdoses will help save lives, and allowing more of our first responders to receive training to administer Narcan is a common-sense step forward in addressing our deadly heroin challenges," Governor Hassan said.
The ability to administer Narcan by Emergency Medical Responders and Emergency Medical Technicians (two of the four general levels of EMS licenses) was recently authorized by the Medical Control Board on March 20th. Following authorization, the Department of Safety, Division of Fire Standards and Training and Emergency Medical Services, has worked to develop a training program, which is expected to be available by May 2nd.
It will be available without charge on the NHOODLE EMS training site and available on DVDs for any departments with challenges connecting to the internet. The training protocol being developed will be suitable for use and available to all first responders.
Governor Hassan has made addressing New Hampshire's rising rate of substance abuse a priority, including by enacting the bipartisan health care expansion law that will help provide coverage for substance abuse to thousands of Granite Staters for the first time.