Georgia Senate backs bill targeting opioid overdoses

The Georgia Senate voted unanimously Thursday to approve Senate Bill 395, a measure intended to combat opioid overdoses. It's named in honor of the cousin of Buford Republican Sen. Clint Dixon’s wife, Wesley, who died from an opioid overdose. (Arvin Temkar/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

The Georgia Senate voted unanimously Thursday to approve Senate Bill 395, a measure intended to combat opioid overdoses. It's named in honor of the cousin of Buford Republican Sen. Clint Dixon’s wife, Wesley, who died from an opioid overdose. (Arvin Temkar/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)

A bill aiming to address opioid-related overdoses is headed to the governor’s desk.

Senate Bill 395, which received unanimous support in the Georgia Senate, combines language from three other measures making naloxone, the opioid-reversal drug, more readily available in schools, on college campuses and in government buildings.

The bill is named in honor of the cousin of Buford Republican Sen. Clint Dixon’s wife, Wesley, who died from an opioid overdose.

It would allow anyone, including teachers, administrators, visitors or students, to carry naloxone, or the brand name Narcan, and administer the drug to someone experiencing an overdose.

It also includes provisions included in the original version of House Bill 1170, which Republicans in the Senate gutted and replaced with language making it harder for kids to access gender-affirming treatment. Previously, HB 1170 had ensured naloxone would be available in government buildings and courthouses.

SB 395 also includes provisions from House Bill 1035, which would have allowed vending machines to dispense overdose-reversal drugs while protecting pharmacists from punishment for filling them.

The House passed House Resolution 1360, creating a study committee to explore non-opioid alternatives for managing pain.

This year, the Legislature also passed Senate Bill 465, which would allow authorities to charge anyone whose manufacture or sale of fentanyl results in a fatal overdose with manslaughter.