“Neither this [advisory] nor naloxone is a panacea”, said Surgeon General Adams at the National Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit. Between 2010 and 2016, the number of opioid-overdose deaths jumped from 21,000 to 42,000.
In both instances, 911 was called and emergency responders were able to save the men with naloxone, a medication that can reverse opioid overdoses. However, naloxone is only one piece of public health’s multifaceted approach.
What would – or could – you do to save the life of a loved one if he/she overdoses on an opiate?
“Unfortunately, it’s easy for anyone to overdose on opioids, so we are not just talking about saving the lives of addicts”, he said.
Narcan can not be purchased over the counter. Some pharmacies are waiving co-pays. “In addition to receiving funds allowing them to provide naloxone to their communities, local health departments also need support to collect and analyze data allowing them to find and target areas where people are dying from opioid overdoses, and to conduct public outreach and education with at-risk populations”. “He didn’t just talk about heroin, he talked about the use of opioids for chronic pain”. The latter groups are particularly vulnerable because they return home with often dramatically reduced tolerance to opioids.
But having Narcan when seconds count, experts said could be the difference between life and death.
Adams said 95 percent of all insured Americans are covered to purchase naloxone.
Naloxone, commonly known under its brand name, Narcan, can quickly revive an opioid overdose patient who has slowed or stopped breathing.
Several drugmakers make injectable versions of naxolone.
Health officer Dr. Mark Miller said there is a concern over the cost of naloxone, but the health department is offering the drug for those who need it.
Adams said he, as well as President Trump, is committed to ensuring that the price of naloxone does not prevent anyone from getting it. But what is naloxone and how could it help?
Surgeon General narcan plea to deal with growing incidence of opioid addiction/overdoses.
With synthetic Fentanyl popular and now widely used, drug deaths from this drug have more than doubled from 2015-2016 alone. “People that have family members caught up in addiction, it would be a great thing to have. The resulting unpredictability in illegal drug products is dramatically increasing the risk of fatal overdose”, the advisory says. “People who are “dope-sick” can’t recover if they die, and recovery is absolutely more possible now than ever before”. Adams dismissed that claim, while also noting that its use should be in conjunction with expanded access to evidence-based treatment.
That said, some researchers contend that the increased availability of narcan only serves paradoxically to inspire even more unsafe drug consumption according to Jennifer Doleac, an assistant professor of public policy and economics at the University of Virginia.