In an infrequent public health advisory, the surgeon general is appealing to more Americans to take a potentially life-saving drug that can overturn the impacts of an overdose of opioid. As noted in the statement advising more Americans to carry naloxone, over 42,000 Americans died as a result of opioid overdoses in 2016.
The organization symbolizing nearly 3,000 local health divisions across the nation approved the drive of the surgeon general, however, said it is merely single stride in the many-sided attempt required to control the opioid epidemic. "It is time to make sure more people have access to this lifesaving medication, because 77 percent of opioid overdose deaths occur outside of a medical setting and more than half occur at home".
The Surgeon General came out this week with a recommendation that more Americans carry Narcan in case of emergency overdoses.
Jerome Adams, said keeping naloxone nearby and knowing how to use it could save a life.
Naloxone, an FDA-approved medication, can be delivered via nasal mist or injection.
The drug, which is often referred to by the brand name Narcan, is available without a prescription in most states and is regularly used by first responders across the country.
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"Costs should not and, in the near future, will not be a barrier to accessing naloxone for anyone in America", Adams said.
The Wheeling-Ohio County Health Department said this push from the Surgeon General reinforces naloxone training programs it already offers.
Proponents, however, argue that greater access to naloxone doesn't draw people to illegal drug use or foster an addiction.
"There are people out there who think naloxone doesn't make a difference: you're just going to go on and misuse substances again", Adams said.
The number of people who participate in syringe service programs and who reported having a naloxone kit in the last three months has more than doubled from 22% in 2015 to slightly over 50% in 2017.
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