DENVER (AP) – An overdose drug that can save the life of an overdosing addict has won initial approval in the Colorado Senate, despite objections the measure could encourage drug users.

The bill gives legal clearance for more people to administer opiate antagonists. The powerful drugs can stop an opiate overdose by “freezing” the brain’s receptors for opiates such as heroin or OxyContin.

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One Republican senator compared the bill to a needle-exchange program. Republican Sen. Kevin Lundberg of Berthoud said the drug’s expansion would send the wrong message to people who use dangerous drugs.

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Other Republicans called the measure a potential life-saver for addicts. The measure was approved on an unrecorded voice vote and faces one more Senate vote before heading to the House.

LINK: Senate Bill 14

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