While not a whole lot out of the 2015 Legislative session was beneficial in terms of revisiting the massive error that is The War On Drugs, there was a bright spot. Health and Safety Code s483.101-106, now permits a person to possess Opioid antagonists (drugs that bind to Opioid receptors in the brain and block or inhibit the effects of Opioids—such as heroin, morphine, etc.—from acting on those receptors) with, or without, a prescription. Why? Because most people (I say most because I have seen the way the justice system and law enforcement treat drug addicts) don’t want people with drug addiction to overdose and die.


In plain English: you can now legally possess OD prevention drugs such as Naloxone, or Naltrexone.


Who can possess opioid antagonists?


A person who is “at risk of experiencing an Opioid-related overdose” can legally possess Naloxone or another Opioid antagonist. Any heroin user, or other opiate user, is, frankly speaking, “at risk” of an overdose can legally possess Naloxone or Naltrexone in Texas now. Because overdoses on heroin depress the central nervous system (and, due to this depression, the brain “forgets” to tell the respiratory system to breath), overdoses are incredibly dangerous. So can a family member, friend, or other person (literally, damn near anyone) of a person at risk of experiencing an Opioid-related overdose.


Will doctors actually prescribe opiad antagonists?


I would hope so. If not, it might be time to get a new doctor. The Health and Safety Code now insulates a doctor who prescribes an Opioid antagonist to a person in good faith from criminal or civil liability for prescribing, or failing to prescribe an Opioid antagonist, and from any outcome resulting from the eventual administration of the Opioid antagonist.


The purpose of this is to urge doctors to prescribe such medications.


Who Can the Medication Be Prescribed To?


Any person who can legally possess an Opioid antagonists, listed above.


Possession of An Opioid Antagonist


This part warrants being repeated exactly as it exists in Health and Safety Code s483.105:


“Any person may possess an Opioid antagonist, regardless of whether the person holds a prescription for [the Opioid antagonist or not.].”


Who Can Administer the Opioid Antagonist to Someone Who Has Overdosed?


Anyone. And the person who acts in good faith administering an opioid antagonist is insulated from criminal and civil liability.


This is a step in the right direction for ending the atrocities created by the War On Drugs. We need to treat people with substance abuse problems as human beings, and that begins, perhaps, with law like this—law that values the lives of such persons.