The Opioid Crisis in America has reached a dangerous level. Every year, tens of thousands of Americans die from Opioid-related deaths. In 2018, the surgeon general put out its first public health advisory in years. It mentions how Naxalone and Narcan can help fight the drug epidemic. Naxalone, also called Narcan, is a medication that can be given to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. In an initiative to help with the epidemic, many first responders now carry Narcan. But should you as well? While it may seem unlikely, having quick access to Narcan could save a life. Especially if you often come into contact with drug users. Hopefully, bringing some awareness to the epidemic will help us figure out how to end it.
All About Naxalone and Narcan and the Opioid Epidemic
The Opioid Epidemic
Naxalone and Narcan are medicines that fight overdoses from opioids. Opioids are a class of drugs that either come from or mimic the effects of opium poppies. These drugs include many pain meds, including prescription pain medication. For example, Oxycontin, morphine, and Vicodin are all pain relievers that are opioids. They can be prescribed by a doctor, but can soon become addictive. In contrast, heroin is an example of an illegal opioid. More and more people every year are becoming addicted to these drugs. They are incredibly dangerous and you should only use them as prescribed.
Naxalone and Narcan are medications that can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. They’ve been around since the 1970s and have been used in hospitals for decades. One of the most serious effects of an overdose is a slower breathing rate. As a result, many people pass out. Naxalone can help somebody breathe more easily if they are overdosing. In a hospital, it reaches the bloodstream through an IV. However, first responders use a nasal-spray version.
Surgeon General Warning
In 2018 the surgeon general put out their first public health warning in 13 years and addressed the drug epidemic. It urges more Americans to carry Naxalone and Narcan to fight drug overdoses. This is especially important for anybody that uses these drugs. And anyone who is around people who might be using.
Should You Carry Narcan?
So the question remains, should you carry Naxalone and Narcan? Well, the answer is that if you are a user of opioids (even with a prescription), or around others who are, then it can’t hurt. If you often come into contact with people who abuse drugs, it also doesn’t hurt to carry. And first responders absolutely should have it on hand. Even if you do not often have any interaction with opioid users, carrying Narcan could still save a life. You can get it at pharmacies and make sure that you know how to properly give it. Having quick access to Naxalone could save a life while you wait for an ambulance to arrive if somebody near you has a drug overdose.
Naxalone and Narcan are important medicines for first responders to have on hand in case they come across any drug overdoses. Especially since the opioid problem is growing in our country. Access to this life-saving medicine could save a life if somebody has stopped breathing. This is why the surgeon general suggested more Americans carry it. Hopefully, by raising awareness of its life-saving effects, we can begin to take control of the opioid epidemic.