Narcan (Naloxone) Becoming a Life Saving Option for Police to Use

While calling Narcan (the brand name for active ingredient naloxone) an “antidote” to heroin isn’t quite accurate, the reality that the drug can be dispensed via a nasal spray in order to revive a drug user who is dying of overdose certainly give the impression that it is a miracle elixir out of a movie. Recent articles from The Greenville Sun and and the Idaho Press highlight how police officers in Tusculum (Tennessee) and Nampa (Idaho) have been trained in administering the potentially life saving concoction. This is emblematic of the full blown health crisis that opiate addiction and overdose now represents in the United States. The United states contains 5% of the total world population yet consumes 80% of the world’s narcotic medications. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has gone on record as describing the opiate addiction and overdose epidemic as a “full blown health crisis."

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Does Narcan Offer Opiate Users A False Sense Of Security?

At least 17 states in America, as well as first responders in the District of Columbia, have been trained to publicly administer the heroin overdose antidote called Narcan, and at least 10 states allow for prescriptions to family or friends of drug users who worry that they will lose their loved one to addiction. While the drug has saved an estimated 10,000 lives, many officials are wary of its use, saying that an increase in its availability is causing public health problems. Officials in New Castle, Pennsylvania say the drug is giving users a false sense of, giving them the confidence to engage in more risky behavior with the belief that when they overdose, they'll be brought back from death. While inarguably, the drug, recently approved for first responders in New Castle, saves lives. But the city has also seen its share of “repeat offenders” – drug addicts that overdose on opiates multiple times in a week, and sometimes, more than one time a day, causing concern and frustration…

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