Medical

Wash. health officials say more people should carry opioid-overdose antidote

Wash. health officials say more people should carry opioid-overdose antidote

Naloxone can restore a person's breathing after it is injected or sprayed in the nostrils, quickly bringing overdose victims back from near-death.

Hoping to use a call to action from the USA 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.

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

"That partnership along with the county health departments actually doing the trainings, the prescriptions, storing the product, getting it out to the community has worked really well in West Virginia in getting narcan in the hands of people who need it the most or even want it", added Gamble.

More than 42,000 Americans suffered fatal opioid overdoses in 2016, his statement said.

Generic, injectable versions of naloxone are cheaper.

All states have passed laws to increase access to naloxone. A two-dose pack of Narcan is among many options available and the drug is increasingly covered by insurance, according to The Network for Public Health Law, a nonprofit that helps government agencies.

Adams said naloxone will not single-handedly solve the opioid crisis and should instead be used "in conjunction with expanded access to evidence-based treatment". First responders already carry naloxone for emergencies.

"I think in large part, the state of Utah has been leading the pack in trying to get a handle on this, and we are seeing results", Cohen said.

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.

Prior to his current role, Adams had been Indiana's health commissioner, where he promoted needle-exchange programs aimed at stemming the spread of diseases among intravenous drug users.

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


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