AUGUSTA, Maine - Police and other first responders would be allowed to bill overdose patients for the cost of administering naloxone under a bill that's being considered in Augusta.
Republican Rep. Trey Stewart, of Presque Isle, says while he supports allowing police and others to administer naloxone, he is worried about the cost of the drug.
"We don’t want to deter law enforcement agencies from carrying this, or being trained to carry this, all of which has a very steep cost. At the same time, we want to make sure the taxpayers' interests are represented in this issue.”
A single dose of the drug can cost more than $100.
But those in the medical community turned out in force to oppose the bill, saying it’s punitive and would get in the way of efforts to address the state’s drug abuse crisis.
"It punishes people for having a substance use disorder and continues the stigmatization of that illness," says Peter Michaud of the Maine Medical Association, "and by doing so, interferes with the efforts we as a state are making to prevent drug abuse.”