top of page

April 22, 2024

Lt. Governor Signs Bipartisan Bill To Save Lives, Prevent Youth Overdose Deaths

DENVER, CO –  Lieutenant Governor Dianne Primavera today signed legislation into law that will prevent youth overdose deaths and save lives. HB24-1003, sponsored by Representatives Barbara McLachlan and Mary Young and Senators Dafna Michaelson Jenet and Cleave Simpson, will make opiate antagonists and drug testing strips available on school buses and in school buildings. 

“I’m so proud to have worked closely with the students from both Durango and Animas High Schools to create this life-saving law,” said Rep. Barbara McLachlan, D-Durango. “Too often, Colorado youth have seen their classmates suffer from the current opioid crisis, which is why our new law will increase availability and training for the administration of opiate antagonists. The advocacy from these students on this topic who have seen the challenges their peers face will make a significant impact throughout our state and save countless lives.”

“Our young people have not escaped being harmed by the opioid crisis that is impacting every corner of our state, and we must do more to protect them,” Senator Dafna Michaelson Jenet, D-Commerce City, said. “This important legislation, which came to us from students who have been impacted directly by this terrible epidemic, gives schools more badly-needed tools to combat this crisis and will ultimately save lives.”

“As a school psychologist, I understand how serious and common overdoses can be in our schools, and this new law will make it easier for schools to prevent these overdoses from becoming fatal,” said Rep. Mary Young, D-Greeley. “Research shows that overdose education for students, teachers, staff, and families leads to increased involvement in treatment and this legislation empowers students, educators, and other school personnel to know how to respond to an overdose. This student-initiated law gives schools life-saving harm reduction tools to decrease the number of student overdoses across Colorado.”

HB24-1003, will allow trained bus drivers and other employees present on buses to administer certain medications, including opiate antagonists such as Naloxone, to students experiencing an overdose. Under current law, if specific educators and staff receive training, they are permitted to administer opiate antagonists to students. This bill extends this protection to bus drivers. This bill permits school districts to maintain a supply of opiate antagonists on school buses, and for trained students to possess and administer opiate antagonists on school grounds, on a school bus, or at a school-sponsored event. 

Additionally, HB24-1003 will allow schools to acquire and maintain a supply of testing strips designed to detect the presence of additional harmful components in an opioid, such as fentanyl.

bottom of page