Journalism's Future ... Now

The Mānoa Mirror

Journalism's Future ... Now

The Mānoa Mirror

Journalism's Future ... Now

The Mānoa Mirror

Liquor-serving businesses required to have Naloxone starting in 2024

Honolulu is first city in the nation to require the medication on-site

A drastic rise in opioid-related deaths prompted the unanimous passage of Bill 28 this past summer in Honolulu. The new bill will take effect at the start of 2024, and city officials believe this to be a milestone first step in the battle against the opioid epidemic in Hawaii. 

Honolulu unanimously passed Bill 28 to become the first city in the nation to require liquor-serving facilities, such as bars and clubs, to keep naloxone, a medication used to counter overdose symptoms, on location. 

The bill’s introduction by Council member Tyler Dos Santos-Tam came shortly after the approval of Narcan for over-the-counter sale by the Federal Drug Administration. Naloxone is the generic brand of Narcan as listed on the National Institute for Drug Abuse website. 

Bill 28 states Naloxone is “a potentially life-saving treatment when used together with other appropriate measures (e.g., calling 911).”

Opioid-related deaths have been an increasing trend in Hawaii for several years. According to the State Department of Health, opioid-related deaths rose from 59 to 274 from 2018 to 2020, a nearly 500% increase. 

The Center for Disease Control’s National Center for Health Statistics reported 269 deaths in 2021 alone. For an individual example, an overdose in Waikiki recently resulted in the death of two people and the hospitalization of three others. 

With the bill’s goal being to provide high-risk establishments with the means to offer aid in potential overdose situations, Chinatown bartender Taylor Okamura said that having naloxone at her place of work will significantly improve safety. 

“It’s honestly a great idea,” Okamura said. “You never know what kind of people are going to come into the bar or what they’re using.” 

All liquor licensees will receive starter doses of naloxone at no cost, thanks to the Honolulu Liquor Commission.

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Justin Gardner
Justin Gardner, Contributor
Hi there! My name is Justin Gardner, and I am a senior at the University of Hawaii at Manoa double majoring in journalism and art. I was born and raised in Roscoe, Texas and graduated from Roscoe Collegiate High School in 2017. I moved to Hawaii to attend college following high school; however, unsure what I wanted to do, I left school after a short time. After working various jobs, I returned to college at the University of Hawaii at Manoa in 2020 where I am now working toward my Bachelor's degree. After moving to Hawaii, I developed a passion for surfing and photography, leading me to work as a surf photographer across Oahu. I have had the privilege of photographing various surf events such as the Billabong Pipe Pro and the 2022-2023 Eddie Aikau Big Wave Invitational. I have also worked with Hawaiian Island Creations and B.Clem Surfboards to produce promotional content for social media.  

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