Published: Sun, April 08, 2018
Medicine | By Melba Vasquez

Surgeon General Wants Americans to Carry Naloxone

Surgeon General Wants Americans to Carry Naloxone

As noted in the statement advising more Americans to carry naloxone, over 42,000 Americans died as a result of opioid overdoses in 2016.

Jerome Adams said all Americans using high doses of prescription opioids should carry the overdose-reversing drug naloxone. "It is time to make sure more people have access to this lifesaving medication, because 77 percent of opioid overdose deaths occur outside of a medical setting and more than half occur at home". Now, a new study showed the threat of dying from one of those infections has dropped.

Naloxone, which can be administered through a nasal mist or by injection, blocks the effects of an overdose and revives the victim.

It is important to know the symptoms of opioid overdose, and how to use naloxone.

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The drug, which is often referred to by the brand name Narcan, is available without a prescription in most states and is regularly used by first responders across the country.

The substance abuse disorder and mental illness treatment center had given out about 50 kits of naloxone through Friday afternoon, said the organization's CEO, Adam Cohen.

"Like many states, Washington is in the midst of an opioid epidemic", Washington Secretary of Health John Wiesman said in a press release.

Generic, injectable versions of naloxone are cheaper.

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The Wheeling-Ohio County Health Department said this push from the Surgeon General reinforces naloxone training programs it already offers.

Naloxone is covered by most insurance plans and, for those without coverage, may be available at low or no cost through local public health programs or through retailer and manufacturer discounts. "I don't think we're seeing less patients because the crisis is over or is in decline".

Adams' recommendation for more people to possess naloxone comes a month after Philadelphia's health department urged residents to do the same.

The last surgeon general public health advisory was issued in 2005 and focused on prenatal alcohol exposure.

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