Naloxon, also known as Narcan, is considered by some to be a wonder drug. It’s an opioid antagonist that counteracts the affects of an opioid overdose.
Attorney General Eric Holder believes it can save lives and is urging first responders to carry a supply of naloxone and also has encouraged law enforcement agencies to train and equip their personnel with the life-saving, overdose-reversal drug.
Naloxone can be injected intravenously or by an intramuscular or subcutaneous injection. There is even a nasal formulation that can be inhaled.
The CDC estimated that it’s US programs for drug users and their caregivers that have been provided with take-home doses of naloxone have prevented at least 10,000 opioid overdose deaths
Heroin overdoes are on the rise and have reached epidemic proportions. Holder stated that between 2006 and 2010, heroin overdose deaths increased by a staggering 45 percent.
Over the past ten years, Heroin use has increased 75 percent.
In Las Vegas, for example, emergency rooms are flooded by people seeking the addictive opioid painkillers. Some are drug abusers while others have resorted to obtaining medications on the street because their health insurance has run out.
For the first time, more people are dying from drug overdoses than from car accidents, according to a 2013 report from the CDC.
With the recent approval of Zohydro, a pure from of hydrocodone, opioid overdoses are likely to continue to trend upward.
Naloxon, along with law enforcement efforts as well as rehabilitative intervention can help to substantially reduce the number of fatal overdoses from opioids.