South Carolina has joined the growing ranks of states to recently introduce overdose prevention legislation. H 3083 South Carolina Overdose Prevention Act seeks to provide immunity from civil and criminal liability to certain professionals and other individuals for prescribing, dispensing and administering naloxone and to allocate funding to organizations for opioid overdose prevention, among other things. I spoke recently with Representative Chip Huggins, a Republican representing Lexington county, S.C., who introduced the bill last December.
What made you decide to introduce this bill?
CH: We have had a number of deaths in my district related to drug overdose and other things. I had one particular person who brought this to my attention and was instrumental in helping me figure out what had been done in other states and what to do here in South Carolina.
Why are overdose prevention laws important in your state?
CH: These types of laws raise awareness about a growing problem and show people that there is an antidote to [opioid overdose] if you catch it early enough. We want the antidote made more available so there is every possible chance to save a life.
Do you anticipate any opposition?
CH: I have not heard of anything. But I'd appreciate support from folks in South Carolina so that we can get this done.
Currently, the bill does not include provisions to provide immunity for people who seek help for an overdose.
To make suggestions on improvements to H 3083 or to get involved in helping to pass overdose prevention legislation in South Carolina, contact Rep. Chip Huggins at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The bill is currently in the Judiciary committee.