By: Jessica Lipsy
Globally, there is an estimated minimum of 190,000 – in most cases avoidable – premature deaths from drugs, the majority due to the use of opioids.
We often focus on the problem, so let’s turn that around and look at a solution. There is one intervention that has been saving lives when it comes to opioid addiction – Narcan. This device has been saving people from dying from overdoses at a phenomenal rate.
This drug is referred to as an antagonist and what it does is reverse the effect of opiates on the brain. It takes someone who has flat lined (really “dead”) and brings them back to life!
CAN IT ENABLE USERS?
Studies report that Narcan does not encourage use and has actually been shown to decrease use. This keeps people alive long enough to seek treatment for recovery. If they died from an overdose, that wouldn’t happen. Data showed last year in the Central Florida and Tampa area that law enforcement alone saved at least 90 lives with Narcan.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
The way that it’s used is with the person lying down on the floor. You place the device in one nostril and push it until the medicine sprays in. (Similar to any simple nasal spray.) If the person isn’t conscious after 1-3 minutes, then you give another injection. Each pack comes with two doses. In the meantime, of course, someone must call 911.
When the person awakens from an overdose, generally they are not happy to be there, but they need to be rushed to the hospital. The medicine only works for a short period of time and they need immediate medical intervention. Without Narcan, it would be too late and the person wouldn’t survive!
HOW TO GET IT
In Orange County, FL, our law officers and paramedics now carry Narcan on them. You can also purchase the drug over the counter at any local CVS or Walgreens. When I personally tried to purchase it, they told me I needed a prescription…. it’s important to remind retailers that that is not the case. There is always a standing order for anyone who purchases it. As far as cost, I’ve heard variations anywhere from $40-$130 with insurance covering the rest.
HOW TO GET MORE HELP
Most overdoses occur at home. If you know anyone who struggles with heroin or opioid addiction, PLEASE encourage them to have this in their home! If you have more questions about opioid or alcohol treatment, feel free to call or e-mail us. No time is better than now. This type of lethal disease progresses too quickly. Act NOW.
Call Life Counseling Solutions at 407-622-1770 if you or a loved one is struggling or ready to heal from a pain-filled life. We are here to help! Or, make an appointment online by clicking here.