US Surgeon General: More Should Carry Naloxone

US Surgeon General: More Should Carry Naloxone

He said he wants more federal funding to increase access to the medication.

The large number of opioid overdose deaths in the United States has led the nation's Surgeon General to call for more Americans to carry the opioid overdose antidote naloxone.

The drug, which is often referred to by the brand name Narcan, is available without a prescription in most states and is regularly used by first responders across the country. The surgeon general says 77 percent of opioid overdoses occur outside of a medical setting.

Amid the opioid epidemic, Chief Best says it is the department's responsibility to step up.

Adams says it has been 13 years since a surgeon general last issued a public health advisory.

The Surgeon General issued an "Advisory on Naloxone and Opioid Overdose" today, drawing attention to the effectiveness of the opioid overdose antidote naloxone.

One-hundred-twenty people in Berks County died from an opioid overdose past year, according to representatives with the Council on Chemical Abuse, or COCA. While Boulder County has a robust syringe access program - more than 1,700 people used the service in 2017 - naloxone kits run out fast. It works by blocking the opiate receptor sites and reverses the effects of an overdose, restoring a normal breathing pattern.

The rising price of naloxone has become a major problem as tens of thousands of people die from opioid overdoses each year.

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In a statement, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone applauded Adams and cited the county's ongoing efforts to train Long Islanders in the use of naloxone. Since 2013, there have been 123 overdose reversals reported on the app.

"There is still so much to do", she said.

"Worst-case scenario, we'd have to buy it", he said. It can cost around $80 for one dose. Nebraska pharmacies can dispense naloxone without a prescription, said Joni Cover, CEO of the Nebraska Pharmacists Association.

The drug, which is injected into or sprayed into the nostrils of a person who is overdosing (whether on heroin or prescription pain medications) is credited with pulling at least 26,500 people back from the brink in the USA between 1996 and 2014, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Noonan was also happy to hear about the new advisory, she said, as it will start a conversation, if nothing else.

"Costs should not and, in the near future, will not be a barrier to accessing naloxone for anyone in America", Adams said.

Noonan hopes those who object to using naloxone can think about it as "an opportunity for somebody to live another day to choose recovery".

"You don't need it", he said, "but it's for your kid".

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