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Reps. Pettersen, Trone, Ellzey Introduce Legislation Requiring Naloxone to be Included in Airplane Emergency Medical Kits

WASHINGTON—Today, U.S. Representatives Brittany Pettersen (D-CO), David Trone (D-MD), and Jake Ellzey (R-TX) introduced legislation directing the Federal Aviation Administration to require opioid overdose medication to be carried on all airplanes. The bill comes days after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released data showing that over 109,000 Americans died from drug overdoses in 2022 – over 83,000 of which involved opioids – setting a new record.

Naloxone, also referred to by the brand name “Narcan,” is a medication used to rapidly reverse an opioid overdose. Naloxone can be administered as a nasal spray or can be injected into a person experiencing an overdose. It has no effect on someone who doesn’t have opioids in their system, which is why it is given if an opioid overdose is suspected.

“The United States continues to be rattled by the opioid epidemic. More lives have been lost from overdoses than all the world wars combined. One thing we can do to save lives is ensure that naloxone, or similar overdose-reversing drugs, are available in as many places as possible, which should include airplanes,” said Pettersen.“That’s why I’m bringing a bill to the floor to require airlines to include these medications in their emergency kits. My mom wouldn’t be alive today without naloxone so I know what a difference increasing access to this type of medication can make.”

“Naloxone should be an essential part of all emergency medical kits because it saves lives — plain and simple,” said Trone, co-founder and co-chair of the Bipartisan Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Task Force. “I’ve always been a strong advocate for ensuring Naloxone is easy to obtain because I know that overdoses can happen anywhere. With opioid overdoses on the rise, airlines need to be prepared to handle a possible overdose on board. It’s just common sense.” 

"This legislation will save lives," said Ellzey, a former commercial airline pilot. "Last year, we lost over 109,000 Americans between the ages of 18-45 to drug overdose, two-thirds of which were from fentanyl. Just one dose of Naloxone, more commonly known as Narcan, could have saved one of these lives. This bill will require that a form of Naloxone be available on all commercial aircraft in the United States."