There are very few “antidotes” when it comes to drugs. You drink too much booze and you can only snooze it off. However, the drug Narcan can completely sober up individuals who are over-dosing heroin or even OxyContin.
Victims of overdose given this drug, often by firefighters or other emergency personnel, recover within minutes. Usually it only takes a couple of squirts of Narcan up the nostrils to do the trick.
The drug, widely sold under its generic name, naloxone, counteracts the effects of heroin, OxyContin and other powerful painkillers and has been routinely used by ambulance crews and emergency rooms in the U.S. for decades. This as reported by the AP.
While only available to emergency personnel in the past, public health officials across the nation are distributing it to the public, specifically addicts and their loved ones.
It is estimated that such giveaways could save as many as 10,000 lives per year in the United States.
Those opposing the free distribution of Narcan think that it will keep more addicts from seeking help. I think that is total nonsense. It will save lives.
I think this is especially pertinent given the current situation with respect to drug addiction. Heroin overdose deaths in the U.S. nearly doubled over the last decade, from 1,725 in 1999 to 3,278 in 2009. During the same period, deadly overdoses from opiate-like drugs, including painkillers, have nearly quadrupled, from 4,030 to 15,597.
So how does Narcan work? It works by blocking certain drug receptors in the brain. It has no effect on alcohol or cocaine overdoses but can be used against such painkillers as OxyContin, Percocet and Vicodin.
The state of Massachusetts has spent $841,000 on Narcan this year and estimates it will save as many as 1,300 lives.
Does it work? Just look at New Mexico for proof.
In New Mexico, which has one of the highest drug overdose death rates in the country, health officials estimate the statewide naloxone distribution program that began in 2001 has counteracted 3,000 overdoses.
Do any of you think this is a bad idea? I f so, please share your thoughts with us. I think a quick wake-up from a near-death experience has the potential to shake any addict into sobriety!