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US Urges Public to Carry Opioid Overdose Antidote in Rare Move

08 Abril 2018, 10:34 | Martinez Canez

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Some researchers have said that making naloxone more widely available, while saving lives, could also unintentionally lead to an increase in opioid use as abusers who survived an overdose take more risks. The advisory from Surgeon General Jerome Adams-the first surgeon general's public health advisory in 13 years-reflects growing concern about the scope of an epidemic that saw a 21% increase in opioid overdose deaths.

Now, the surgeon general's idea is creating discussion among national, state and local health officials and government leaders.

Adams, who is scheduled to speak Thursday at a conference in Atlanta, emphasized in the advisory that more opioid users, as well as their families and friends and anyone who regularly comes into contact with them, should carry naloxone.

In the USA, drug overdoses led to 632,331 deaths from 1999 to 2016, with 351,630 being opioid overdose deaths, according to the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report released Thursday by the Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) office.

Mendell praised Adams' call for broader naloxone access, but said there was "more than frustration" with the Trump administration's handling of the opioid problem thus far.

"It's absolutely a good idea if you or someone you know is struggling [with addiction], you should get naloxone and attend training on how to use it", Kinsman told Fox News.

While on a flight coming from Tennessee, a man next to Satur had a number of opioid prescriptions, so Satur asked if he kept naloxone handy.

"No one would find it unusual if a surgeon general encouraged more people to learn CPR or the Heimlich maneuver", said Simon, whose firm, Simon Greenstone Panatier Bartlett P.C., has represented counties suing pharmaceutical companies for their alleged roles in opioid addiction. Cobler asks. "Are we going to be able to get it?" However, naloxone is only one piece of public health's multifaceted approach.

Critics have questioned whether ready availability of naloxone makes people more likely to abuse drugs or resist treatment, knowing they can be revived if they overdose.

Many local public health organizations or community groups dedicated to treating drug addiction offer naloxone free of charge.

A benefit of naloxone is that it can be bought in pharmacies across the nation, and most insurers cover it, Noonan said, including Medicaid.

"A lot of drugs are laced with fentanyl so people don't realize what they've taken or how strong it is", Pollack said.

That underscores the need to make lifesaving interventions like naloxone more readily available to people across the US, Dr. Adams said. Each officer carrying a kit - which contains the drug in a nasal mist form - is trained on how to administer the drug for those who have overdosed on heroin or a prescription painkiller.

The company launched a pilot program in six states to allow those with commercial insurance to obtain its auto-injector Evzio from a pharmacist without a prescription and have it delivered to their home.

"Research shows a combination or medication, counseling, and behavioral therapy can help people achieve long-term recovery", the advisory says.

Herod says she has no problem herself getting involved, "I have Narcan on my desk on the floor in the state capital right now".



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