A new drug that is able to reverse an opioid overdose and save thousands of lives each year is currently being rolled-out to first-responders across the country. In the US, more than 33,000 deaths are caused by opioid overdose each year and until now, those often first on the scene have been powerless to assist. Now, people overdosing on heroin, fentanyl and other opiate-based drug are able to be treated immediately on the scene to completely and rapidly reverse the effects.
Narcan is the best-known brand of Naloxone and is available in a nasal spray that is reported to be extremely effective for rapid-response teams and also the most affordable. Generally available in 2-milligram vials, naloxone can be used in varying doses according to the substance taken and severity of overdose. For example, fentanyl is high in opioids and first responders have reported using up to 10-miligrams to effectively reverse an overdose.
Opioid abuse is a significant problem in America and does not discriminate. People from all walks of life can fall into dependency very easily after experiencing prolonged and chronic pain or dealing with depression or mental illness, for example. In fact, many people who use prescription opiates to self-medicate for chronic pain are more at risk of accidental overdose, particularly if symptoms become heightened. It is widely considered that prescription drugs are ‘safer’ somehow because they came from a doctor, but people are always advised of the wider implications when first prescribed.
The breakthrough Naloxone offers first-responders in the US is huge. As more and more emergency departments and law enforcement agencies get stocked up with the drug, it is anticipated that the numbers of deaths caused by overdose will be markedly reduced.
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