Massachusetts U.S. Senator Ed Markey introduced federal legislation this week to protect individuals who administer lifesaving prevention drugs, such as Naloxene to those who overdose from opiates, from civil liability.
Markey was joined by state law enforcement officials, local mayors, and health care providers in Holyoke on Friday to speak about opiate addiction.
Markey said he was extremely heartened by the turnout, “the level of enthusiasm, but the level of care and knowledge about this program.”
“These leaders are waiting for the help,” he added.
Markey hopes to provide that help with the passage of his bill. He believes there’s universal support in congress for more coordinated, well-funded programs to address what he calls an opiate “overdose epidemic.”
Massachusetts’ Hampden and Hampshire counties alone have reported more than 30 heroin deaths since November.