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How Naloxone Can Save Lives From Opioid Overdoses

In 1971, a prescription drug known as Naloxone or brand name Narcan was approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Naloxone can reverse the affects of an opiate overdose by restoring the bodies ability to breathe. Naloxone is non-addictive, non-toxic and easy to administer through the nose or intravenously. The medication does not get someone high and has no recreational use. It is stocked in emergency rooms, ambulances and post-surgery recovery rooms all over the country.  Unfortunately if a person overdoses in their home, it is most likely not going to be administered in time to save their life.  Those who would come into contact with someone who needs it, most likely have never even heard of it before. Some states are taking initiative to allow in home prescriptions as well as police officers to have available to help curb opiate overdoses.

On January 1, 2014, California residents will be able to go to a doctor or addiction treatment program and explain why their home is in need of the medication. For example, if someone's son or daughter is an addict and their parents fear they may overdose, they may receive a prescription as a preventative measure.

There are more than 52 programs in at least 17 states that distribute Naloxone to those at risk of overdose and to first responders in emergency overdose situations. The programs are expected to train recipients in overdose prevention including recognition and response, calling 911, rescue breathing and administering Naloxone. So far most Naloxone distribution has taken place at needle exchange programs that predominantly serve people misusing illicit drugs (usually heroin) in urban areas.

After hearing how effective and safe Naloxone is, one would think that there would be no one opposed to having it available to the public by prescription.  Obviously, that is not the case. Many people who oppose this medication believe it will give addicts a sense of safety and promote more use, but no evidence suggests this is a credible argument.

Naxolone should be made MORE available than the prescription painkillers that are flooding our streets, schools and communities across the US. There is no reason as to why this product should not be in every home with known addicts or any person prescribed opiate painkillers.  This is a lifesaving medicine and not a medication that is abused. Naloxone has save many lives already and will continue to help opioid overdoses.  When it comes to opioid abuse and opiate overdoses, time is of the utmost importance. The faster Naloxone can be administered, the better chances for survival.

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