Nalaxone

Pia Christensen/Association of Health Care Journalists

Dr. Vivek Murthy is not only one of the youngest people ever named the U.S. Surgeon General, the 38-year-old also is the first person of Indian descent to hold the post.

But there’s one more thing: he's a Floridian.

The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office announced Friday it will equip its deputies with a drug called naloxone. It stops people from overdosing on opioids like heroin.

It’s a first for Florida law enforcement agencies.

Lottie Watts / WUSF

Manatee County, on Florida's west coast, is home to more than 300,000 people.  It's known for its beaches, and if you go just a short distance inland, you'll pass by the iconic fruit stands and working citrus groves.

Around the U.S., a worsening heroin epidemic has more and more cities turning to the anti-overdose drug naloxone to reduce deaths from abuse. Also known as Narcan, the medication blocks the effects of opioids and reverses the respiratory depression that occurs during an overdose.

Experimental Drug Bill Awaits Scott Action

Jun 1, 2015
University of Washington Health

The Florida House this week sent a bill (HB 269) to Gov. Rick Scott that would allow terminally ill patients to have access to experimental drugs.

The bill, filed by Rep. Ray Pilon, R-Sarasota, drew significant discussion during this year's regular legislative session, with Pilon and other supporters saying it could help people with diseases such as cancer.

The bill focuses on drugs that have been through what is known as "phase 1" of a clinical trial but have not been approved for general use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

University of Washington Health

A prescription drug that counters the effects of a pain medication overdose could soon be available to caregivers and others.

The bill (HB751/SB758) passed by lawmakers today Tuesday will allow non-physicians to get a prescription for Naloxone. The injectable drug is used in the event of an overdose and reverses the effects of drugs like Oxycodone and heroin.

Wendy Scuderi of Palm Beach Gardens has watched her son battle addition to pain drugs. She says several of his friends have died from drug overdoses.