Honolulu To Become First Major US City To Require Narcan In Bars, Nightclubs

On June 12, Honolulu City Council passed a bill that requires Honolulu bars and nightclubs to keep Narcan naloxone spray on site. This essentially makes Honolulu the first major US city to do so.

“The opioid crisis is real. Just a month ago, two people died in a mass overdose in Waikīkī. That’s two families that lost a child, a sibling, or an uncle. Three more were sent to the hospital. We can’t keep letting this happen,” said Councilmember Tyler Dos Santos-Tam who proposed the bill.

“This bill takes action: it puts a life-saving medication in the places that need it. It will prevent more tragedies, like what happened in Waikīkī, from happening again.”

In recent years, Honolulu has experienced an increase in opioid overdoses. From August 2017 to August 2018, the Hawaii Department of Health reported 59 opioid overdose deaths in the state. In 2020, the number increased to 274.

“Overdoses happen, especially when mixed with alcohol. Our bars and nightclubs must be prepared for every contingency. I am grateful that the City Council is taking on this important issue. This bill will protect businesses, patrons, and the public at large,” said Robbie Baldwin, owner of Scarlet Honolulu, a Chinatown nightclub, who supports the bill.

The bill is now sent to the Mayor’s office for signature. Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi has until July 22, 2023 to sign the bill into law.

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