Medicine

Surgeon General urges public to carry naloxone

Surgeon General urges public to carry naloxone

Washington health officials are joining the USA surgeon general in urging more people to carry naloxone, a medication that can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose.

The nation's chief doctor wants more Americans to start carrying the overdose antidote naloxone to help combat the nation's opioid crisis and save lives.

"Like many states, Washington is in the midst of an opioid epidemic", says Washington's Secretary of Health, John Wiesman.

Jerome Adams, said keeping naloxone nearby and knowing how to use it could save a life.

Hoping to use a call to action from the US surgeon general as a springboard for awareness about the opioid overdose reversal drug naloxone, the Odyssey House started handing out free doses of it this week. "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".

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Generic, injectable versions of naloxone are cheaper. Laws have been passed by all states intended for escalating the availability of the drug, as per the news release of a surgeon general, and in the majority of states, it can be asked at pharmacies devoid of a prescription.

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.

Proponents, however, argue that greater access to naloxone doesn't draw people to illegal drug use or foster an addiction. Other emergency measures, such as calling 911, should be learned by people who carry naloxone. "That would be like me saying I'm not going to do CPR on someone having a heart attack because if we save them, they're just going to go out there and eat fast food and be back here all over again".

The number of people who participate in syringe service programs and who reported having a naloxone kit in the last three months has more than doubled from 22% in 2015 to slightly over 50% in 2017.

The United States Surgeon General urged the public to carry naloxone and learn how to use it.


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