TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW)- U.S. Senator Jerry Moran is looking support veterans at risk of death from accidental painkiller overdose.
“When a veteran is dependent on opioids as a result of injuries incurred during his or her service to our nation, we have a responsibility to provide the best possible care, including pain management,” Moran said.
Moran has sponsored a senate bill that would make naloxone rescue kits more affordable and accessible to veterans.
The kits can help prevent opioid overdose deaths when the naloxone is administered in a timely manner. Naloxone reverses respiratory depression by displacing opiates from receptor sites in the brain.
According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, veterans are more likely to die from accidental opioid overdose than non-veterans. The VA says in 2014, more than 55,000 veterans were diagnosed with an opioid use disorder.
“The threshold between pain management and opioid addictions, however, is far too easy to cross, as we see from the high number of veterans currently diagnosed with opioid use disorder,” Moran said. “That is why it is critical that we lower barriers to access naloxone kits for our veterans- the only resource that can protect against the worst-case scenario of an overdose.”
The legislation would eliminate the copayment for a naloxone rescue kit. The bill also educates veterans and their families about safe painkiller use.
Moran is also a sponsor is the Jason Simcakoski Memorial Opioid Safety Act. That act aims to provide safer and more effective pain management to veterans.