Help Prevent ODs: Make Narcan Emergency Kits Available Without a Prescription

Imagine coming upon a stark and yet subtle scene of overdose. A person is laying on a sidewalk. Breathing is very shallow and the person’s skin seems to be getting grayish blue. This person may be dying from an opioid overdose.

Seconds are critical — immediately calling 911 is vital. However, first responders may not arrive in time. Many times every year, despite their best efforts, they don’t. 15,000 times a year, death by overdose occurs in this country. The number is way too large, and it is growing.

Naloxone (Narcan®) Saves Lives

naloxoneNow, imagine that you live in a more progressive state like Washington. You wanted to be prepared, “just in case.” In Washington, a prescription for Naxolone, an effective opioid antidote, is still required, but at least it was obtainable.

As a result, in that critical moment, you actually had the 1cc dose of Naxolone to administer nasally. You knew that it was both safe and legal to administer. Breathing was restored; paramedics arrived minutes later to fully monitor the patient. A life was saved, and precious tomorrows were given to that person as well as to so many family and friends who would have otherwise been crushed by yet another death by overdose.

At “Chasing Mikhaila” on facebook, one can learn about teenagers who did not make it. One was 18-old Mikhaila, a Colorado girl that is one of four from just one city that have suffered fatal overdoses in the past year.

The need to make Naloxone emergency kits available without prescription across the country is very important. At present, only seven states and nine cities have approved non-prescription sales of this critical lifesaver. Dedicated advocates are working tirelessly to make Naloxone available nationwide without a prescription. Then users, concerned friends, and family members can obtain and carry Naloxone in much the same way that “epi-pens” are now carried and used to save those having severe allergic reactions.

Petition The President

Now, you can join these advocates in petitioning the President directly at the White House to get this issue on the national agenda. Supporters can sign electronically sign the petition right at the official White House website. This effort requires 100,000 signatures by April 15 to move the petition forward.

Join those that have turned their own sorrow into a force for reform. Help to make non-prescription emergency kits available in all 50 states. Those that endure, forever, the loss of a precious child want to save other families from this most traumatic of experiences.

Opioids And An Antidote

Opioid overdose risks are more wide-ranging than many understand. A partial list of opioids includes heroin, morphine, methadone, and many common prescription pain killers like codeine, oxycodone (Oxycontin), and hydrocodone (Vicodin).

Naloxone is quite unique in that it is not addictive and it has no side effects. It has been embraced by emergency medical personnel who have already used it for a couple of decades. It is not harmful if it is given to someone who is not suffering from an opioid overdose. Leran more about Naloxone at drugs.com.

Naloxone first restores breathing and wakes the person up. However, its effects wear off in 30-90 minutes, so its always vital to call 911.

Important — Naloxone is not effective in treating overdoses of benzodiazepines (e.g. Xanax, Valium, Klonopin), cocaine, bath salts, methamphetamine or alcohol. In every case, call 911 immediately.

Consider joining in petitioning President Obama to move this important effort forward. The 15,000 unique and special individuals that we lose to drug overdoses every year can be reduced in number.

About David Matson

David writes about criminal justice issues.
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  • Teresa Davis

    I think this is such a good idea …BUT >.. my only concern is how many overdoses will occure due to uneducated junkies about how much narcan to give an od’ed person. Also it is very important to understand that any long term downer junkie has alot of junk in thier system and when you give narcan it has the potential in killing more than the drugs they are shooting ..this happens simply because the narcan wipes every opiate receptors all at once and that can be much worse for them …..I think the best way to handel this is for junkies has safe access through a hospital Hell you can drop off babies no questions asked why not your dying friends?

  • https://plus.google.com/111626591184353506175?rel=author David Matson

    Apparently it is safe and can’t cause harm or OD itself.
    http://stopoverdose.org/faq.htm

  • Dennis Patrickson

    All drug users should be imprisoned!

    • vern vern

      So all people who are prescribed a drug for pain, etc. by a doctor should be imprisoned?

  • https://plus.google.com/111626591184353506175?rel=author David Matson

    Dennis, I believe you are on the wrong site.

  • http://merchantcircle.com Neko Chuigh

    Sorry you think that way. Ignorance is wasting your thought process.

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  • sandra

    I am a paramedic and I don’t think this is the answer. I give narcan and I know it has to be titrated just enough to bring up the patients respiratory rate, never to the point that makes them responsive. The reason we do that is if you give them the full dose all at once it takes away all of their high, all at once and they sometimes get violent. These patients need to go to the hospital. They need to be evaluated for any type of cardiac abnormalities. If these patients are alert when we arrive on scene they will refuse transport and we can’t take them against their will. The last thing we want to called to is a violent patient it puts a lot of innocent people at risk. I wonder what the true statistics are concerning deaths from overdose while waiting for 911. I would guess the true statistics would be very low. Most of them die before we are called. 15 years of experience and I haven’t lost an overdose patient yet. Narcan only works on certain drugs and I have also found that most addicts mix drugs or get tainted drugs. Giving narcan at home is not the answer call 911.

    • https://plus.google.com/111626591184353506175?rel=author David Matson

      Sandra,

      Narcan is certainly no substitute for an emergency room, but it can keep someone alive until professional medical care is available, and/or if there is no other immediate alternative.

      I think that is where it is appropriate, in cases where people are likely to die before you are called, as you say.

      Thanks for commenting!

  • Erin Lee

    If someone overdoses at my house, I’ll let them overdose instead of giving them narcan. Why save them, so they can continue to do heroin and know that someone is going to save them if they overdose again? Or so they can continue to be junkies and raise their kids and turn them into junkies? Sounds like another one of Indianas good ideas. So if anyone ever overdoses at my place, you’re out of luck.

    • http://www.drugpossessionlaws.com/ Drug Possession Laws

      That is truly awful. People make mistakes – big terrible mistakes in their lives. That doesn’t mean they deserve to die.
      Narcan isn’t magic, but it can give people a second chance.
      But, anyway…. noted, don’t take heroin at Erin’s house.

    • Christina Nesseth-Rivera

      Go FUCK YOURSELF YOU IGNORANT ASSHOLE!!!

    • Dr. Kent L. Gilpin, KJ4WW

      Whoever wrote this, we will all pray for you to find an open heart. One, “saves the world… one person at a time”… Never-ever, when properly informed allow any life to be lost. Especially in a situation where, “trying to help, can do no further possible harm”… I beg you to open your heart to the urgent needs of those around you… Dr. Kent L. Gilpin, KJ4WW, member of, Miami-Dade First Responders…

      • http://www.drugpossessionlaws.com/ Drug Possession Laws

        Very well said.
        The need for overdose prevention is overwhelming these days, and we could all be a lot more sympathetic and humble about it.

        • tony

          I have a question.Why can the state make you spend,more on drugs?With the side effects,this has?Why not make these kits affordable?Many (I mean many)have not extracash?A lot on this list are a very strict allowance.May not be for you.But,I know many who have had to live on what little the government pays.

        • quasilyon

          No it is not. The need has always been there. what has changed is that the population, the face of the Addict has changed.

      • tony

        I understand the idea.Now,tell me a story.Who is supposed to keep up with shot?Most who are being pushed.Are not in a position to afford more drugs.After reading the results and list of side effects.A lot of people are being put in a very large group.I personally have had to be tested twice a year.I have NEVER TAKEN ANYMORE THAN I am allowed.I have to jump through so many laws and insurance BULLSH__!The worst part.Is this all started with Very IGNORE SELFISH DRUNK!He didn’t lose his job.He didn’t lose his truck!He just went back to jail!Again.It was my family that had to wait!To see if I was EVEN ALIVE!So,after getting it from this piece of trash.Now,I am having give what little I get from the government.NO GREAT PAY!My family and I have had to play with the medical circus.So,TELL ME AND A LOT OF OTHERS WHO NOW HAVE PLEASE ANOTHER F__KING REQUIREMENT.AGAIN!DAMN IT!!!!!!!!!!

  • cristie

    I seen my brother od we had to call 911 they had to give him three shots of narcan how can I buy to give this to my parents until we get him help