“We Should Think of Naloxone Like an EpiPen or CPR”
Crystal Lake, IL- On April 5th, U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams issued an advisory that urges more Americans to routinely carry naloxone, an opioid overdose reversal drug. “We should think of naloxone like an EpiPen or CPR. Unfortunately, over half of the overdoses that are occurring are occurring in homes, so we want everyone to be armed to respond,” he told Morning Edition. “…It’s very safe, easy to use, and 49 of 50 states have standing orders for people to be able to access and to use [naloxone] in the home setting.”
Naloxone is a drug that temporarily restores normal breathing during an overdose, buying valuable time to get medical treatment that can save the person’s life. However, it has to be administered quickly. This has prompted efforts to make it widely available so first-responders and those at risk have it on-hand. According to Adams, $50 million in federal funding has been allocated for naloxone.
Here in Crystal Lake, our partners at Wake the Nation waged a hard-fought advocacy campaign to get naloxone into the hands of first responders and available at pharmacies. New Directions Addiction Recovery Services (NDARS) helped launch this campaign because those early minutes before paramedics arrive can be the deciding factor in whether a person lives or dies. Since the campaign’s success, Wake the Nation has continued to advocate for naloxone and opioid awareness and train community members in how to use naloxone.
As Surgeon General Adams noted in the interview, “The call to action is to recognize if you’re at risk. And if you or a loved one are at risk, keep within reach, know how to use naloxone.”