South Dakota employers to gain access to Narcan nasal spray
Naloxone, or Narcan, is one of the most effective treatments for opioid overdoses. With the passage of House Bill 1162 this legislative session, Narcan can now be distributed to more than just first responders.
The bill allows employers across South Dakota to stock potentially lifesaving Narcan nasal spray.
Bill sponsor Rep. Brian Mulder of Sioux Falls said the bill is an effort in harm reduction.
“Obviously we do have an issue here in South Dakota," Mulder said. "Even more and more what we’re noticing from what I hear from the police force is just how much more pills are being laced with fentanyl. So, people are not even sure what they’re necessarily ingesting.”
Mulder said it’s something he sees the need for at his full-time job, Volunteers of America-Dakotas.
“We run a residential chemical dependency treatment program," Mulder said. "Under current South Dakota state law, we weren’t allowed to have Naloxone in our first aid kits. So, if someone were to ingest something from the community and bring it into our facility and experience an overdose, we didn’t have immediate treatment available.”
Mulder said it’s important to remember the humanity of those experiencing addiction.
“People have the opportunity to get treatment, and they can recover from this," Mulder said. "We’ve heard stories of people overcoming addiction. We just need to be able to respond to those situations as that world evolves.”
The bill does not require businesses to stock Narcan.
The Food and Drug Administration has ruled that Narcan should be available widely without prescriptions and it likely will be available over the counter soon.