The FDA’s decision to make naloxone, more popularly known as Narcan, over-the-counter (OTC) a significant breakthrough in helping reduce the high number of deaths caused by opioid overdoses. Naloxone, also known as Narcan, is an opioid antagonist that can reverse an overdose caused by heroin and other narcotic drugs. It is a safe and effective medication that can be administered to someone experiencing an opioid overdose, potentially saving their life.
The statistics on heroin overdoses are grim; In 2018, 15,958 people died from overdoses involving heroin in the US alone, according to the CDC.
The statistics on heroin overdoses are grim; In 2018, 15,958 people died from overdoses involving heroin in the US alone, according to the CDC. This number has increased steadily since 2012 and represents a staggering increase of more than 400% from 2002 to 2018. Something needs to be done urgently to stem this deadly tide of drug-related deaths.
Naloxone is not dangerous for those without an opioid addiction; it works by temporarily blocking the effects of opioids on the brain, reversing their effects within minutes, and allowing medical professionals enough time to intervene and provide further treatment if necessary.
The medication has no psychoactive effects and does not cause any harm when used correctly; it blocks opioids from having their usual effects on those who have overdosed, allowing them a chance at survival. For this life-saving medication to be effective, it must be administered correctly; typically, this involves injecting or spraying it up one nostril while someone is experiencing an overdose. If you or someone you know needs naloxone, it can usually be obtained through your doctor or local health department for free or at a low cost. In addition, many states have laws allowing pharmacies to dispense naloxone without a prescription in emergencies.
The FDA’s decision to make naloxone over-the-counter (OTC) ensures everyone has access to this life-saving medication, regardless of whether they have a prescription – potentially saving thousands of lives each year. This critical step forward gives anyone who may come across someone overdosing on opioids the opportunity – and responsibility – to intervene before it’s too late, giving them a chance at survival they might not otherwise have had access to previously.
In conclusion, the FDA’s decision to make naloxone available over-the-counter (OTC) is a significant milestone in fighting against tragic overdose deaths caused by opioids such as heroin, helping ensure that everyone has access to this life-saving medication if ever needed in an emergency – potentially saving thousands of lives every year in the process.
by Jace A.