Honolulu's New Law Requires Naloxone at Bars and Restaurants

Honolulu’s New Law Requires Naloxone at Bars and Restaurants

Explore how Honolulu's new ordinance requires employers in bars and restaurants to carry Naloxone to ensure public safety and rapid response to opioid overdoses.

In response to a concerning surge in opioid-related deaths, Honolulu has pioneered a solution with the implementation of Ordinance 23-24. This groundbreaking law, signed in July 2023 and which took effect January 1, 2024, targets certain liquor-licensed businesses in Oahu. Let's explore the significance of this ordinance and its implications for these establishments.

Between 2018 and 2020, Honolulu witnessed an alarming 500% increase in opioid-related deaths. The risk of combining opioids with alcohol calls for immediate and targeted action. Ordinance 23-24 addresses this urgency, prioritizing public health and safety in a way that sets Honolulu apart as the first U.S. city to mandate Naloxone at bars, restaurants, and nightclubs.

Understanding Ordinance 23-24

Ordinance 23-24 was signed into law in July 2023 and became effective starting January 1, 2024. It requires certain liquor-licensed businesses on Oahu to keep two doses of Naloxone on their premises and store them properly according to manufacturer instructions.

  • Restaurants
  • Dispensers
  • Tour or cruise vessels
  • Cabarets
  • Brewpubs
  • Small craft producer pubs

Managers, or “blue card” holders at these establishments, must also undergo training on administering Naloxone. The aim? To equip these businesses and their leaders with the tools to quickly and effectively respond to opioid overdoses.

What is Naloxone? 

Naloxone, commonly known as Narcan, is an opioid-reversal medication available in various forms, with a common administration method being a nasal spray. As a crucial tool in emergencies, it acts rapidly to counteract the effects of opioids, restoring normal breathing.

What does this mean for impacted businesses? 

There is a new layer of compliance on the streets. The good news, however, is this: the Honolulu Liquor Commission offers free Naloxone starter kits and a centralized hub of information about Naloxone, which makes compliance easily accessible to employers. To ensure supplies are available, call (808) 786-7300 (and select option 0) to speak with a liquor commission staff member.

For those seeking knowledge on Naloxone administration, the Hawai'i Health & Harm Reduction Center (HHHRC) provides free online training. It's a simple step that brings businesses into compliance and empowers these establishments to act swiftly in critical situations. A noteworthy provision of Ordinance 23-24 is its protection to those administering Naloxone. The good samaritan law in Hawaii safeguards individuals from civil damages when responding to emergencies. This legal shield encourages timely intervention without fear of repercussions.

Beyond Compliance

Even if the ordinance doesn't directly impact your business, you can still be prepared and contribute to the safety and health of our communities. The HHHRC and the Honolulu Liquor Commission offer resources. Many pharmacies statewide sell Naloxone over the counter, and thanks to the HHHRC and the Department of Health’s Adult Mental Health Division and Alcohol & Drug Abuse Division, Oahu now has ten Naloxone vending machines across the island (scroll to see the map). This is an opportunity for businesses to go above and beyond, ensuring they are better equipped to handle emergencies.

Are you a ProService client? If you have questions about Ordinance 23-24 or would like to learn more about any of the resources mentioned here, please contact our Safety Consultants team for more information.

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