Saturday, 15 December, 2018


More Should Carry Naloxone — US Surgeon General

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Patty Aguilar | 06 April, 2018, 00:01

In the first USA surgeon general advisory in over a decade, Dr. Jerome Adams is calling for more Americans to carry an opioid overdose-reversal drug. More Americans should be carrying around the potentially life-saving drug, U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams announced on Thursday, April 5th.

Naloxone, also known under the brand name Narcan, is now available over the counter in all but a few states and arrives in injectible or nasal-spray form.

Public health advisories are a rarely used tool reserved for issues of pressing importance to the American public.

"Each day we lose 115 Americans to an opioid overdose - that's one person every 12.5 minutes", Adams said in a statement.

Naloxone is widely available and is covered by most insurance plans. Generic, injectable versions of naloxone are cheaper. For those who are uninsured, he says the antidote is available at little or no cost through local public health programs.

Baltimore City Health Commissioner Leana Wen urged the federal government follow the move with action to make naloxone more affordable, such as negotiating a discounted rate with manufacturers, or giving funding to local areas to increase access to treatment.

As of July 2017, all 50 states had passed laws improving naloxone access, according to the The Network for Public Health Law, a nonprofit group.

Maine's Republican Gov. Paul LePage has been one of the most outspoken opponents of the push, arguing that naloxone doesn't treat addiction and merely discourages people from seeking treatment by essentially offering a safety net if they do overdose.

Proponents, however, argue that greater access to naloxone doesn't draw people to illegal drug use or foster an addiction.

The breadth and severity of the opioid crisis necessitated Thursday's advisory, which also includes information about naloxone and the signs of an overdose, Adams said in a statement.

It's the first time the surgeon general has issued such advisory in more than a decade.

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