Bill in SC House would require overdose preventing drug to be co-prescribed with opioids

State News

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WBTW) – A Grand Strand lawmaker is trying to prevent opioid overdoses by giving people more access to a life-saving drug.

The state Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) says about 73% of the 1,103 drug overdose deaths in South Carolina in 2018 were caused by opioids.

“It’s tough,” said Rep. Russell Fry, R-Surfside Beach. “I think nationwide, you’re seeing numbers go up.”

Rep. Fry wrote a bill requiring doctors to prescribe naloxone, which includes Narcan, to patients under certain circumstances if they’re also prescribed an opioid.

“We see a lot of accidental overdoses where people just don’t realize the dosage or they take too much over a 24-hour period,” he said.

It would include anyone with a history of substance abuse or anyone who has overdosed before.

The co-prescription would also go towards anyone prescribed an opioid and a benzodiazapine, also called a “benzo.”

“The combination of those drugs is pretty dangerous in certain circumstances,” Rep. Fry said.

Rep. Fry also says the goal is to stop the rise in overdose deaths by getting people help as quickly as possible.

“There are some people who have a serious substance abuse disorder, but then there are some that accidental overdoses happen,” he said. “If you have a co-prescription, it’s in your medicine cabinet and you’re ready for it.”

Horry County was third and Florence County was tenth in the state for opioid overdose deaths in 2018. You can click here to see how many deaths were in each county.

Rep. Fry’s bill was introduced last week and is now in a House committee.

Count on News13 for updates.

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