Naloxone - A Good Idea

Written by Lindsey Mcilvena, MD, MPH

This drug can save someone's life if they are having a bad reaction or opioid overdose.

As the opioid epidemic has become a major public health problem, every state has made it much easier to get Naloxone. So what is it and why is it a good idea?

Naloxone is a medication that reverses the effects of opioids (oxycodone, percocet, fentanyl, etc.) and heroin in the body. It can be life-saving if given to someone who is having an overdose.

The number of deaths from opioids is staggering - over 47,000 people died of opioid overdoses in 2017. All of these deaths could have potentially been prevented if someone nearby could have administered Naloxone.

The harsh reality is that even with the best prevention efforts, opioid addiction and overdose isn’t going away soon. So we’ve got to have a way to prevent an overdose from becoming deadly - and we need citizens to give it, not just emergency responders and hospital staff. In many cases, by the time first responders arrive on the scene of an overdose, it’s too late.

You don’t need a prescription for Naloxone (but most insurances cover it with a prescription); you can go to any pharmacy in the US and ask for Naloxone. This is a good idea if anyone close to you, or you yourself, are using opioids. Even if the use seems “under control”. Even if the person says they’re “not addicted”. Even if you think it might be overkill and not necessary to have it in your purse or medicine cabinet.

If you want to learn more, check out this site. You can get trained to administer Naloxone and you may end up saving someone’s life.

The views expressed in this article intend to highlight alternative studies and induce conversation. They are the views of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of HeyDoctor, and are for informational purposes only, even if and to the extent that this article features the advice of physicians and medical practitioners. This article is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice.

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