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A Drug for a Drug: Reversing an Overdose with Naloxone

Drug overdose deaths are the leading cause of accidental fatalities in the country. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports overdose deaths are up 118 percent in the last ten years. But an antidote that was developed in the 1960s is growing in popularity because it is helping to fight this national epidemic.

It’s called naloxone (or narcan) — an inexpensive, non-addictive, yet powerful medication that aids in reversing the effects of an overdose in three to five minutes. It is easy to use and can be administered by muscle injection or nasally with a spray.

Harm reduction centers across the United States are now pushing for everyone to have easy access to it. The logic is if naloxone is in the hands of those who are likely to witness an overdose, then they are able to respond quickly and save lives.

Recently Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey announced that all police officers in every county are allowed to administer the drug. Greater availability was also endorsed by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, the American Medical Association, and many others.

Credit: Kimberly Brooks

A Drug for a Drug: Reversing an Overdose with Naloxone

Drug overdose deaths are the leading cause of accidental fatalities in the country. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports overdose deaths are up 118 percent in the last ten years. But an antidote that was developed in the 1960s is growing in popularity because it is helping to fight this national epidemic.

It’s called naloxone (or narcan) — an inexpensive, non-addictive, yet powerful medication that aids in reversing the effects of an overdose in three to five minutes. It is easy to use and can be administered by muscle injection or nasally with a spray.

Harm reduction centers across the United States are now pushing for everyone to have easy access to it. The logic is if naloxone is in the hands of those who are likely to witness an overdose, then they are able to respond quickly and save lives.

Recently Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey announced that all police officers in every county are allowed to administer the drug. Greater availability was also endorsed by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, the American Medical Association, and many others.

Credit: Kimberly Brooks

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