Colorado Revised Statutes Title 18. Criminal Code § 18-1-712. Immunity for a person who administers an opiate antagonist during an opiate-related drug overdose event--definitions

(1) Legislative declaration.  The general assembly hereby encourages the administration of opiate antagonists for the purpose of saving the lives of people who suffer opiate-related drug overdose events.  A person who administers an opiate antagonist to another person is urged to call for emergency medical services immediately.

(2) General immunity.  A person, other than a health care provider or a health care facility, who acts in good faith to furnish or administer an opiate antagonist to an individual the person believes to be suffering an opiate-related drug overdose event or to an individual who is in a position to assist the individual at risk of experiencing an opiate-related overdose event is immune from criminal prosecution for the act.  This subsection (2) also applies to a first responder or an employee or volunteer of a harm reduction organization acting in accordance with section 12-42.5-120(3)(d), C.R.S .

(3)(a) Licensed prescribers and dispensers.  An individual who is licensed by the state under title 12, C.R.S., and is permitted by section 12-36-117.7 , 12-38-125.5 , or 12-42.5-120(3), C.R.S ., or by other applicable law to prescribe or dispense an opiate antagonist is immune from criminal prosecution for:

(I) Prescribing or dispensing an opiate antagonist in accordance with the applicable law;  or

(II) Any outcomes resulting from the eventual administration of the opiate antagonist by a layperson.

(4) The provisions of this section shall not be interpreted to establish any duty or standard of care in the prescribing, dispensing, or administration of an opiate antagonist.

(5) Definitions.  As used in this section, unless the context otherwise requires:

(a) “Health care facility” means a hospital, a hospice inpatient residence, a nursing facility, a dialysis treatment facility, an assisted living residence, an entity that provides home- and community-based services, a hospice or home health care agency, or another facility that provides or contracts to provide health care services, which facility is licensed, certified, or otherwise authorized or permitted by law to provide medical treatment.

(b)(I) “Health care provider” means:

(A) A licensed or certified physician, nurse practitioner, physician assistant, or pharmacist;  or

(B) A health maintenance organization licensed and conducting business in this state.

(II) “Health care provider” does not include a podiatrist, optometrist, dentist, or veterinarian.

(c) “Opiate” has the same meaning as set forth in section 18-18-102(21) .

(d) “Opiate antagonist” means naloxone hydrochloride or any similarly acting drug that is not a controlled substance and that is approved by the federal food and drug administration for the treatment of a drug overdose.

(e) “Opiate-related drug overdose event” means an acute condition, including a decreased level of consciousness or respiratory depression, that:

(I) Results from the consumption or use of a controlled substance or another substance with which a controlled substance was combined;

(II) A layperson would reasonably believe to be an opiate-related drug overdose event;  and

(III) Requires medical assistance.


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