Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee Chair Herb Conaway, Jr., M.D. released the following statement Friday on the Christie administration’s decision to allow EMT’s to administer life-saving treatment in the event of an opioid overdose:
“I’m relieved the administration has joined us in recognizing the pressing need to address opioid fatalities,” said Conaway (D-Burlington). “Deaths from prescription pills and heroin overdoses are increasing at an alarming rate.
“Opioid antidotes such as Naloxone are as widely used to reverse the effects of overdose as epinephrine is used in severe allergic reactions and, with training, just as simple to administer. Since emergency medical technicians are the first on the scene in many overdose cases, it’s vital that we equip them with this life-saving ability.
“Until we can better address the underlying causes of addiction and provide broader treatment, we must give EMTs the tools they need to do their jobs – saving lives. I’m pleased that the administration feels the same way.”
Conaway is the lead sponsor of a bill (A-2770) that cleared his committee last week, which would have provided for the training and certification of EMTs in the administration of opioid antidotes.