Statewide order to prescribe anti-overdose injection weighed

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – An injection that can stop fatal overdoses of heroin or OxyContin could become more readily available in North Carolina.

State health officials want a statewide standing order for physicians to prescribe naloxone for an opioid overdose in an emergency. The Senate Health Care Committee scheduled a hearing Tuesday on legislation for the state health director to set the order.

Related: 4 NC towns in top 20 nationally for opioid abuse, study finds

A 2013 law allowed law officers and first responders to use naloxone. The law allows relatives of those at risk of overdosing to obtain prescriptions.

Unintentional overdose deaths increased by more than 300 percent in North Carolina from 1999 to 2014. The state Department of Health and Human Services says more than 1,000 overdoses were reversed last year, more that the number of overdose deaths.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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