On March 2nd, H.B. 842 was signed and approved by the Governor of Virginia. The CAF initiated the creation of this bill and advocated it through to a unanimous passage in the house and senate. This new law makes a more affordable brand of naloxone available for health departments and outreach organizations in Virginia to dispense. This will not only save money but consequently many more lives!
Though previously we could dispense Narcan nasal spray, the cost per person was $75 dollars. This made it challenging to provide naloxone to the most vulnerable communities in the scale necessary. However, generic naloxone, which comes in a vile and is administered as an intramuscular injection, is less than half the price of Narcan nasal spray.
Unfortunately, Virginia law limited the dispensing of intramuscular syringes to pharmacies.
This new law allows certified Revive instructors to dispense naloxone with intramuscular syringes to people at-risk of experiencing or witnessing an overdose.
Addressing Some Concerns:
-There are some people with reservations about giving syringes to people who use drugs. However, intramuscular (IM) syringes are different than the intravenous (IV) syringes used to inject heroin.
-There may be concerns about teaching lay people to give an injection, but it's common practice to teach people with diabetes how to inject insulin. At least 3 million diabetic Americans give themselves injections everyday.
-What if an accidental needle-stick causes a lay rescuer to contact HIV or Hepatitis? Retractable syringes can be purchased at a very low price. Once the injection is given, the needle automatically retracts.
-Some people may be uncomfortable with needles. Various opioid overdose reversal programs routinely dispense the nasal spray to anyone uncomfortable with needles, and give syringe method to everyone else.
With the continued rise of opioid-related deaths, this new law will increase our ability to reach more people and save more lives!