Bill to expand use of Narcan to fight overdoses goes to governor

A change in state law that would allow better distribution for an overdose reversal drug known as Narcan passed the Legislature late Wednesday night.

A statue outside the Roundhouse in Santa Fe.

Heath Haussamen /

A statue outside the Roundhouse in Santa Fe.

House Bill 277 was sponsored by both Republican Rep. Terry H. McMillan, a Las Cruces physician, and Sen. Richard C. Martinez, A Democrat from Española who is a retired magistrate judge.

Narcan is a drug that is administered through the nasal membranes. It comes in a kit with a vial and a mister. Once assembled and administered correctly, it can reverse the symptoms of opioid overdoses. New Mexico has one of the highest overdose death rates in the United States.

But there has been some confusion in state law about whether law enforcement officers or community health workers can hand out the kits to addicts and family members as a prevention measure. The law, if signed by the governor, allows Narcan to be distributed under a standing order from a doctor or pharmacist so families who want a Narcan kit won’t have to see a doctor for a direct consultation.

The measure passed the Senate 38-0. In voting for support, Sen. Craig W. Brandt, R Sandoval, said, “This will save a lot of lives.”

This article comes from The Santa Fe New Mexican. is paying for the rights to publish articles about the 2016 legislative session from the newspaper. Help us cover the cost by making a donation to

This BBSNews article was syndicated from, and written by Heath Haussamen. Read the original article here.