AUGUSTA, Maine — The Maine House of Representatives has passed a bill designed to make the opioid overdose drug naloxone available to people under the age of 21.
Democratic Speaker of the House Sara Gideon proposed the legislation, which passed Wednesday by a count of 132-7. It follows an action by the Board of Pharmacy last month. The board amended proposed rules to raise the age of access to naloxone from the original 18 to 21.
Gideon says lowering the age is a part of the state’s drive to get life-saving medicine to people who need it as it grapples with an opioid abuse crisis. A record of 418 people died of drug overdoses in the state last year. Opioids were the cause of 354 of those deaths.
The legislation needs Senate approval.