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Pavley bill would provide overdose ‘antidote’ to first responders

Posted: May 4, 2014 2:00 a.m.
Updated: May 4, 2014 2:00 a.m.

A bill from a Santa Clarita Valley legislator that would ensure emergency responders have access to an “antidote” that can help reverse some of the effects of heroin and prescription pill overdoses is currently making its way through the state Senate.

The bill, Senate Bill 1438, comes from state Sen. Fran Pavley, D-Agoura Hills, and would make sure first responders such as police officers are equipped with naloxone, which can reverse the effects of many types of opioid overdoses.

“Prescription painkiller abuse afflicts people of all ages and backgrounds,” said Pavley, in a news release. “Making naloxone available to law enforcement can prevent needless deaths and give victims a second chance to seek treatment and break their addiction.”

Naloxone works by blocking the portions of the brain that take in opioids. Doing so can restore breathing to an overdose victim and allow extra time to reach a hospital, according to officials.

Naloxone can also be administered intravenously or as a nasal spray and has no effect on individuals that have not taken opioids, according to Pavley’s office.

At least six other states have passed or have pending legislation that would explicitly authorize emergency first responders to carry and administer naloxone, according to Pavley’s office.

“I think anything that we can do as a society to protect people, that’s what we’ve got to do,” said Cary Quashen, founder and president of Action Family Counseling. “And we know that this medicine can help turn the tide and save lives.”

Action Family Counseling is a drug and alcohol treatment and rehabilitation program.

Heroin use has, in recent years, proven to be a substantial problem in the Santa Clarita Valley and has played a role in a number of deaths.

Quashen said Action is continuing to work with the city, Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station and other stakeholders to combat the issue.

“Knowledge is power,” he said. “And we’re getting the knowledge out there.”

SB 1438 has already been reviewed and passed by the Senate Health and Public Safety Committees, according to Pavley’s office.
On Twitter @LukeMMoney


EgbertSouse4U: Posted: May 4, 2014 7:05 a.m.

Good idea and long overdue. Do it!

chefgirl358: Posted: May 4, 2014 8:02 a.m.

What they don't address here is the rise in force incidents that will occur. I used to know a paramedic very well who told me that when you give an o.d. Patient "narcan" as it's called, they immediately lose their high and become enraged and attack you for taking away their high. They could care less that you just saved their life.

missyJk: Posted: May 4, 2014 10:06 a.m.

I think its a great idea if it saves someones life than it is worth it. I wish i knew an answer for peoples addictions, but i don't believe they belong in jail unless they are doing criminal things for the drugs, nor should they not have a chance to live when they OD..i am glad for this bill and i am sure it will pass

AndiM: Posted: May 4, 2014 10:42 a.m.

I also think it is a great idea. Chefgirl, is your answer to just let people die? Why are you always so negative?

DMeyer: Posted: May 4, 2014 1:27 p.m.


Shouldn't people who want to use heroin just go some place where it is legal to use?

Why should the rest of us bear the cost of their recreational drug use?

chefgirl358: Posted: May 4, 2014 1:44 p.m.

Did I say we should just let people DIE? Um, NO!!! I just said there will be an increase in force related incidents and they will need to make sure first responders are prepared to deal with that the moment the drugs are administered.

Although to be honest since you made me think about it more, there are plenty of o.d.'s that the world would be far better off without. Chronic burglars, criminals, etc, to feed their habit, no thanks. I wouldn't give them the shot because they made a conscious choice to do drugs. If they can't handle their high, oh well.

Rocketeer: Posted: May 4, 2014 2:12 p.m.

Chefgirl's original comment was "as great as this sounds, we need to put some thought into it. There are some details that need to be addressed."
AndiM's response: "How dare you say that?! Why are you always so evil?"
Sadly, Andi's a typical Californian. Think things through? Never!

The part I find confusing about this bill is that I thought all paramedics already carry narcan. Is this to start requiring cops to carry it as well?

Has anyone else thought that the solution to the drug problem is just to legalize all of it? It would be a sad few months watching tens of thousands of junkies kill themselves with cheap, freely available drugs, but maybe it's better to just get it over with all at once.

EgbertSouse4U: Posted: May 4, 2014 2:38 p.m.

The job of these first responders is to save lives, not make moral judgements over who deserves to be saved or not. That's how it works. You don't have to like the person to save their life. Lots of self righteous people on these boards who want to be cop, jury and God. Get over yourselves.

Before87: Posted: May 4, 2014 3:42 p.m.


Quote from chef girl

Although to be honest since you made me think about it more, there are plenty of o.d.'s that the world would be far better off without. Chronic burglars, criminals, etc, to feed their habit, no thanks. I wouldn't give them the shot because they made a conscious choice to do drugs. If they can't handle their high, oh well.


When they get on scene they don't know if that
person took an accidental overdose of Illegal or
prescription drugs because they are unconscious.
And they usually are

I guess by their surroundings and looks we could just profile
them and make a moral decision on the spot!

This a America we don't let people just die! (Do We)

missyJk: Posted: May 4, 2014 7:33 p.m.

@DMeyer bear the cost? when paramedics come out you get a bill so they will bear their own cost and since everyone should have healthcare that should be a moot point.. truth be told i would rather my tax dollars save a life than pay for kids to go to college that should be their parents responsibility..we all have different ways we would like our tax dollars spent but i never want someone to die over it and as much as we know its wrong, people, young adults, even teenagers do it and if it spares a parent grief i am all for it

chefgirl358: Posted: May 4, 2014 8:28 p.m.

Before87, a lot of o.d.'s have a needle sticking out of the persons appendage where they shot up, so when it is an iv user od, they pretty much know it right away...besides the obvious track marks, etc.

SReilly12: Posted: May 5, 2014 10:46 p.m.

Before87 - "This a America we don't let people just die! (Do We)" - The answer to that would be "YES" word, Benghazi!!!

Rocketeer: Posted: May 5, 2014 12:02 a.m.

OK, let me see if I can figure out missy's logic:
1. The taxpayers never have to pay for paramedics because each person helped gets billed for the cost. Hmmm, so drug addicts who are so deep into their addiction that they're actually OD'ing will be paying their own $750 ambulance bill? I guess they'll be using the money from their jobs and just choosing to buy less drugs for a while. No, silly me, their insurance will pay for it because as missy says:
2. Everyone should have health insurance. I'm guessing she's referring to the individual mandate in Obamacare requiring everyone to purchase health insurance. Yep, no one (not even a junkie) would dare break _that_ law, so we'll never have to pay for emergency services again. It's magic!

Fiscal logic like that explains perfectly why California has the highest tax burden and simultaneously the highest debt load of any state in the US.

DMeyer: Posted: May 5, 2014 8:16 a.m.

missyjk you live in fantasy land. Real world logic is not within your grasp. Sorry I wasted the effort trying to enlighten you.

IamNewHere: Posted: May 5, 2014 8:54 a.m.

You realize its not just addicts that overdose? Your kid, who happened to make a poor judgement choice, can OD too. You guys are cool with that?

Some really interesting point's of view in the SCV.

AndiM: Posted: May 5, 2014 9:12 a.m.

Do all you self righteous folks realize that we have a huge heroin problem among the teenagers in this valley? Should we let them die now before they become a burden to society or should we try to help them with their addiction?

EgbertSouse4U: Posted: May 5, 2014 9:22 a.m.

The SCV villagers massing with their torches in hand, playing judge, jury and God. Repugnant.

chefgirl358: Posted: May 5, 2014 10:24 a.m.

AndiM, I vote die. I'll tell you why...heroin is forever. I don't care how long somebody has been clean, the recidivism rates are astronomical...almost all of the users will always go back to it. Second, I have neighbors who have several kids and at least two of them are actual heroin junkies. They started doing burglaries and pawning stuff, all of my valuables are sitting in a safe deposit box in the bank because I'm fearful these losers will end up burglarizing my home if I'm away. They have both been to rehab multiple times and last time, one of them came home with a dirtbag boyfriend and HE got to move in with the family TOO! Of course, it was a matter of time before they were using again and then the parents had the nerve to be shocked. So yeah, if they had an o.d., I would sleep a lot better at night.

chefgirl358: Posted: May 5, 2014 10:26 a.m.

Sad as it might be, the best deterrent for people not to do drugs would be to see others die from them.

AndiM: Posted: May 5, 2014 11:30 a.m.

Chefgirl, I hope I don't know you.

chefgirl358: Posted: May 5, 2014 12:04 p.m.

I hope you are lucky enough never to live near a bunch of junkies. If you did, you might feel differently. They're horrible, and they CHOOSE to do drugs. It was a conscious choice. It's not an "illness" or a "disease", it's a conscious decision. An illness or a disease is cancer, a disability is being a paraplegic as one example, it's something that the person doesn't get to decide whether or not it happens to them.

Donjag: Posted: May 5, 2014 1:28 p.m.

It's really amazing how one individual can harbor so much hate on so many different topics. Trust me Andim, you would know if you knew this individual.

Rocketeer: Posted: May 5, 2014 3:40 p.m.

Since no one seems to know, the dictionary defines "self-righteous" as "piously self-assured and smugly moralistic." I'm seeing a lot of rhetoric along the lines of "don't you know there's an epidemic? So you'd just let them die?! I hope I don't know a person like you with so much hate!"

Sounds pretty pious and smugly moralistic to me. And, like all debates where feeling-but-unthinking liberals are involved, you can't debate anyone on the facts so you try to turn the conversation into pure emotion and start with
the dramatic name-calling. Just like any person with a grade-school mentality would.

While I don't agree with everything chefgirl has to say, there's no disputing that there's an at least 67% recividism rate for heroin. And there's no disputing that most heroin addicts pay for their habit with crime. I guess it's too much to ask for anyone to feel any sympathy for the innocent victims of that crime. There's no way to know but I wonder how many people have died waiting for an ambulance that was already out on a call treating an OD.

Apparently DMeyer was being "judge, jury, and God" when he objected to having his tax dollars go to someone who knowingly made a really poor choice with their life, but as chefgirl points out, it's real easy for all of you to be smugly superior when you don't have to live next door to the junkie family.

"Get them the help" they need is the mantra everyone repeats over and over. I've heard it my whole life. But we've been trying the rehab/treat-don't- punish approach for DECADES now and as has been pointed out, the heroin situation in the SCV is just getting worse and worse. When something plain doesn't work, it's time to try something else.

EgbertSouse4U: Posted: May 5, 2014 3:51 p.m.

I stand by my comments. The choice is to either save a life or let a person die, that's the bottom line. Too bad you lack that sense of humanity and are more concerned about your tax dollars at work. As previously pointed out, there is a major heroin problem among teens here in the SCV. And yes, teens make some horrible decisions no doubt. But YOU would let them die... how sweet.

DMeyer: Posted: May 5, 2014 5:11 p.m.

Drug a users have the potential to be so dangerous to the rest of society. Is enabling them the right course of action?

These two were "just users and someone's kids too at one time".......then one day they decided that stealing to support their habit wasn't enough...

missyJk: Posted: May 6, 2014 11:49 p.m.

@ DMeyer sorry my logic does fly over the heads of imbeciles --edited.

DMeyer: Posted: May 6, 2014 7:20 a.m.

Reality to missyjk come in....come in missyjk.

Comment from missyjk "We are a liberal state and have been for a long time, if people dont like it they can move to one of those "right wing" states."

That is your logic missyjk.

ricketzz: Posted: May 6, 2014 7:22 a.m.

If you fear burglaries by dope fiends you should support decriminalization so addicts can get clean drugs at reasonable cost. Whether you agree or not there are plenty of reasons to change our attitudes. The current system is a failure.

chefgirl358: Posted: May 6, 2014 7:49 a.m.

ricketzz, are you out of your mind? Do you truly believe there is a clean way to give people HEROIN? COCAINE? And we won't have drug problems if we decriminalize serious drugs? Ever heard of HIV? We won't have burglaries if junkies can get drugs legally? You know they still have to BUY them don't you? They have to find a way to feed their habit. Unbelievable.

DMeyer: Posted: May 6, 2014 8:05 a.m.


Good idea, once everyone can get crystal meth, PCP and heroin at Walmart and Costco our community will be much better off.

But should we expect addicts to actually go out and get good jobs and health insurance so they can purchase narcotics that they are now hopelessly dependent on? That sounds unfair, maybe in addition to decriminalization of drugs we should decriminalize burglaries too, after all that is what addicts have been doing for years to support their habits.

Rocketeer: Posted: May 6, 2014 9:29 a.m.

Actually "legalize it all" IS the "let 'em die" option. Does no one else remember that it was all completely legal a hundred years ago? The drug laws originally sprang up from the Temperance/Prohibition movements of the early 20th century (which also led to the Volstead Act). The drug laws stuck in part because the general public couldn't stomach the large number of seemingly normal people killing themselves.

I can't believe I'm somehow on ricketzz side, but let's consider enforcement in the extreme: Automatic death penalty for simple possession, first offense. That's exactly what the law is in China... and they still have a drug problem. Clearly, empirically, you can't make laws that will reduce drug abuse. As I said before, rehab's obviously a failure. So far nothing we've tried has made things any better. On the contrary, drug enforcement in the 80s led directly to the invention of crack, making things way worse.

Legalization would at least eliminate profit for the drug cartels. It would make the drugs cheap enough that junkies could buy enough to kill themselves with the money from ONE crime rather than stretching things out for years. Everyone with an interest in drugs would die within months and the rest of us can move on. Brutal, I know, but maybe the only solution.

missyJk: Posted: May 6, 2014 10:00 a.m.

a percentage of heroin addicts are movie stars people in the entertainment industry, do you think they have health insurance and teenagers wouldnt they be under their parents health insurance plans? I dont believe anyone deserves to die unless they commit murder. As for my liberalism that came with age i was conservative when younger and married as i got older and wiser my political views changed intelligent men i date appreciate my views, insecure men dont..cant please everyone nor do i even care to...I own a lovely home pay my taxes work hard i am entitled to any view i want..again at the sound of being repetitious if it saves people lives i say YES --edited.

chefgirl358: Posted: May 6, 2014 11:23 a.m.

Rocketeer, actually you put an interesting spin on the legalization angle. I hadn't really thought of it that way, but it makes sense in a warped way. BUT I think criminals like burglars should be punished through the penal system and not through rehabs, etc.

Unreal: Posted: May 6, 2014 12:18 p.m.

I personally know two kids in SCV who were using heroin. They were smoking it from about 18-22. They both got off the drugs by using Suboxone and have been drug free ever since. 8 years. They are now married and have a family and have completed college. Contrary to what others above have said this is not uncommon anymore. Believe it or not "Wiki How" has some very good advice to quit Heroin. This is the site the 2 I know of used.

I know their parents say prayers of thanks every day for their recovery.

For those of you who think there is no hope, that is not true. That is a lie.
Many, many get off heroin and never go back. Meth too. There is real hope.

I think parents of kids or family members who are living with someone who has a heroin issue should have access to Naloxone. Just like having an
EpiPen for allergic reactions.

We have lost many beautiful kids in SCV in just the last few years to heroin.
Smoking it makes it much more accepted than before. We need the schools to have access too. Minutes matter with a kid overdosing.

Don't waste this conversation on those who think letting others die because of the cost take over this conversation. Exchange information that is useful
and don't bother to engage with those who don't, or won't get it.

DMeyer: Posted: May 6, 2014 1:01 p.m.

missyjk just informed us that heroin addicts do have health insurance, then I was wrong, we don't have to bear the financial burden of their chosen addiction! They got it all covered themselves.

@Unreal I like how we are now comparing kids with peanut allergies to's not their fault, right?

To those that really want to kick their habit I wish you well, but the reality is that most of then don't want to give up drugs.

Unreal: Posted: May 7, 2014 10:38 a.m.

DMeyer: Who cares whose fault it is or whether they have insurance? Save the person's life. Period.

So now you have changed from "they can't quit" to "they don't want to quit".
Again, you are wrong. They can quit and as soon as they realize they are "hooked" on heroin many of them want off it.

Kids play with drugs and get in over their heads. They stop listening to adults about drugs because so many of the adults say stupid things about marijuana that they don't listen when we try to tell them about heroin. I don't think kids should smoke pot, but when we start running around like Chicken Little saying "The sky is falling" kids no longer believe us and the conversation is over.

DMeyer: Posted: May 7, 2014 7:34 p.m.

@Unreal My point is that I'm sick of paying to help out idiots that indulge in dangerous and illegal activities. Who's going to pay to outfit all of the first responders with the antidote kits, and not to mention training all of the first responders on how to use the kits? Then of course the civil liability that goes with that. It's the tax payers (me). Explain why tax payers should purchase these antidote kits so junkies could shoot up heroin all day and let other people worry about reviving them when they overdose? How about making the junkies provide for and carry their own OD kits instead? Or is personal responsibility a concept that you don't agree with?

I'm all for antidote kits, just make the drug addicts pay for and carry their own around with them, don't make others do it so they can indulge in criminal activity.

chefgirl358: Posted: May 8, 2014 8:04 a.m.

DMeyer...LOVE that idea! Make them pay for their own OD kits...that's awesome!

Unreal: Posted: May 8, 2014 9:05 a.m.

You two are quite the pair. It is great that most people in SCV are not behind your narrow minded and mean spirited thoughts. Not that there is much thinking going on with you two. I am sure the parents of the several kids in SCV who passed away in the last few years from heroin are very hurt by your careless expressions. Treating kids with a problem like trash to be left to die.

Is it really the fact that it is their own behavior that leads to the need for medical attention? Following this guideline we should let people who smoke, take birth control pills, are overweight and have a heart attack die instead of having them picked by ambulance. What about those who drink and have liver problems? What about people who OD from prescription drugs?

I am sure you two will respond with something as insensitive and thoughtless as usual. Shame on both of you. You are SCV's ugly side.

DMeyer: Posted: May 8, 2014 12:01 p.m.

How dare anyone have the audacity to prefer that people who are ***breaking the law*** be responsible for THEIR OWN choices! And it's so cold and heartless that I do not wish to subsidize the ***illegal activities*** of drug addicts!

It's just so mean for me to object to spending my hard earned money to provide things that junkies should be doing for themselves, why is up to the rest of us to pay for their choices? Why make me pay instead of making them pay??

@Unreal Please note that I am objecting to have "everyone else" pay to support the "illegal" behavior of people who choose to engage in those type of criminal activities. But nice try comparing heroin junkies to people who suffer from heart attacks or people who suffer from ailments NOT related to criminal activity... --edited.

Unreal: Posted: May 8, 2014 12:09 p.m.

DMeyer: I am sure it makes you feel superior to keep calling kids who are addicted "heroin junkies". It dehumanizes them enough for you to feel good about your evil rants.

I for one would be glad to forgo any of your taxes if you choose to leave SCV. Good riddance.

I usually try not to be personal but there are exceptions. Being confronted by evil is one of them.

DMeyer: Posted: May 8, 2014 12:35 p.m.

People usually defer to personally attacking others once they've lost the argument.

Instead of having people move from their homes since they don't agree with you (missyjk posted the same stupid suggestion on a different article earlier this week) why not have this new cost be voluntary? You can donate as much as you want of your own hard earned money to help heroin addicts who overdose, that SHOULD BE your right. But why do YOU insist that ALL of us should pay our hard earned money to enable people who choose to engage in unlawful dangerous activities? I work too hard to provide a home, education and a future for my family. I don't want money coming out of my wallet to buy overdose kits for junkies. I have NO objection to the kits! Just let them buy it themselves, or people like you can help them buy the kits. I donate my money to causes that I deem to be worthwhile.......that is MY RIGHT.

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