Currently the opioid epidemic is raging out of control in this country, ravaging communities and decimating lives without regard for race, age, gender, or ethnicity.
There are actually several prescription and illegal drugs that are classified as opioids, including morphine, codeine, heroin, oxycodone, methadone, Vicodin, and fentanyl. While the opioid epidemic is far from over, there is hope on the horizon in the form of a medication that can be used to help people who have overdosed.
The FDA has approved a prescription medicine that can help overdose victims by blocking the decimating actions of opioids and reversing an overdose. Narcan (naloxone) has been successfully used on individuals whose breathing has significantly slowed or even ceased, and on victims who are extremely difficult to revive or wake.
Narcan is becoming increasingly available, with some first responders carrying the medication. As an alternative, some jurisdictions are increasing the availability of the nasal version of Narcan to the general public at low to no cost. If a loved one is struggling with opioid use, you can research the availability of Narcan in your area.
There are several things to know about Narcan. First, if a person who has not taken an opioid uses Narcan, it will not have an effect on them, because there are no opioids in their system. Second, it is not possible to get high using Narcan.
If at some point in time, you yourself have Narcan to administer in case of an emergency, many experts agree on several points of advice in regard to its use. First, consider calling 911 first in the event that you witness an overdose situation. Be sure to tell the operator if the person is not breathing if this is the case, and be sure to remain with the individual until help arrives on scene.
Narcan cannot reverse the opioid epidemic but it marks a step forward in the war on this insidious drug.
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