The number of deaths caused by heart disease, H.I.V. and cancer have gone down. But deaths caused by a narcotic overdose have gone up, especially in young white males. That’s according to a study by the New York times.
That’s why experts want everyone to have access to Naloxone, commonly known as Narcan, and it treats narcotic overdoses. First responders carry it…and if you don’t think it’s important, just hear how many times they use it.
“We use it almost daily. This month we’ve only used it four times, which is a slow month,” says Steve Huffman with the Mobile County Fire Rescue.
A lot of people mistakenly call it an antidote, but Huffman says it’s more of a blocker.
“It blocks the effects of the narcotics and it reverses those effects.”
That also causes the patient to become violent when they come to. Police in Spanish Fork, Utah revived a man last week who overdosed on heroin and was near death.
A new law expands the access to the medication and paves the way for pharmacies to carry it in Alabama.
“If anybody loves or cares about somebody who has an opioid addiction or heroin addiction, Naloxone is really something that will just buy them a little bit of time. They still need to call 911 and they still need to get to an emergency room,” says Executive Director of the Drug Education Council Virginia Guy.
Right now you can walk into any Walgreens in the state of Alabama and go up to the pharmacy counter and they will make you a prescription and order it. Right now we aren’t sure what it will cost in Alabama. Prices vary from $20 to over $3,000.
Some say having the medicine available to all will only encourage drug users to use more, however Virginia Guy with the Drug Education Council disagrees.
“And that’s not the case, first of all, that’s not how addiction works. When people are addicted, that’s not the way they’re thinking. They’re using and that’s first and foremost in their minds.”