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4 dead as severe storms hit Houston, TX; Election Protection Program eases access to voting information; surge in solar installations eases energy costs for Missourians; IN makes a splash for Safe Boating Week.

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The Supreme Court rules funding for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is okay, election deniers hold key voting oversight positions in swing states, and North Carolina lawmakers vote to ban people from wearing masks in public.

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Americans are buying up rubber ducks ahead of Memorial Day, Nebraskans who want residential solar have a new lifeline, seven community colleges are working to provide students with a better experience, and Mississippi's "Big Muddy" gets restoration help.

'Lazarus drug' may have competition in MI

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Wednesday, April 24, 2024   

After more than 50 years of use, some Michigan lawmakers say naloxone may not be the best choice in an overdose situation.

Naloxone is sometimes called the "Lazarus drug" because of its powerful ability to seemingly resurrect people after a drug overdose.

Sen. Kevin Hertel, D-St. Clair Shores, and some of his colleagues have introduced a bill which would open the door for what they say are more costly, but more powerful, antidotes.

"Given the prevalence of fentanyl in our communities, and how much stronger some of these drugs that we're now seeing are, we believe -- and in talking with others -- that there should be other tools to respond to an overdose," Hertel explained. "To make sure we're doing everything we can to save somebody's life."

Not everyone is on board with the proposed legislation, Senate Bill 542. Opponents argued the more expensive naloxone alternatives are not necessary, and using them would only increase profits for the pharmaceutical industry.

Jonathan Stoltman, director of the Opioid Policy Institute in Grand Rapids, said while the naloxone alternatives do help in overdose situations, they can also cause nasty side effects.

"The newer approaches, they put people into more severe withdrawal," Stoltman pointed out. "That's a pretty profound negative side effect. The one approach is very inexpensive and works great; the other approach is far more expensive and has this strong negative side effect."

Sponsors of the bill say they're hoping to give Michigan residents a chance to chime in on the issue in a public hearing sometime in June. Michigan saw more than 3,000 opioid overdose deaths in 2021.


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