COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – Ohio Gov. John Kasich has signed a bill expanding the use of an anti-overdose drug as part of the state’s fight against the addictions epidemic killing thousands each year.

RELATED: Ohio leads the nation in opioid overdose deaths

The bill the Republican governor signed Wednesday afternoon will make the antidote naloxone, sold as Narcan, available to schools, homeless shelters, halfway houses and treatment centers.

The bill also requires thousands of pharmacy technicians to be registered by the state for the first time.

The state pharmacy board says pharmacy technicians were responsible for a third of about 140 pharmacy drug thefts over the past three years.

Ohio saw a record 3,050 overdose deaths last year. Many of those deaths were attributed to painkillers and heroin abuse.

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