How to Save an Overdose Victim with Naloxone
Many states have made Naloxone or Narcan legal because it can reverse the effects of a heroin overdose and save lives. Those states include: Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, North Dakota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Washington and Wisconsin.
Narcan is a non-addictive medication and it can and does save countless lives. Many people across the country including people like you and I, first responders, police, parents, medical professionals and teachers have learned how to administer the medication because it is important to know how to administer it properly for it to be effective.
While many states haven’t yet adopted “Good Samaritan” Laws, which helps people who try to assist someone suffering an overdose from avoiding prosecution, there is such a big problem with heroin and opiate addiction more must be done.
Unlike any other drug out there right now, one dose of heroin can be fatal. For this reason alone, it is crucial to make Narcan readily available over-the-counter. Many people think having this medication so easily available encourages heroin users to continue using and not seek treatment, but this isn’t true. Every day someone wakes up breathing is a chance to begin again and it’s the same for someone with an addiction to drugs.
The American public is aware of the current opiate crisis and approximately 33,000 people died from an opiate overdose in this country in 2015. It’s not enough to make Narcan available, more people need to be aware of how it can save the life of someone they love.
The last thing a parent wants to do is come home from work one day and find their son or daughter dead from a heroin overdose. Too many people have died from heroin and opiate abuse. How many more must perish before the rest of America wakes up and sees how important it is to have Naloxone available at a moment’s notice?
If you suspect someone you love is suffering from an opiate overdose, you need to know a few things about Narcan. First, the medication must be stored at room temperature. When it is exposed to excessive heat, cold or light, it can degrade the drug’s quality and make it useless. If it is stored the right way, Narcan will still be effective 96 months past its expiration date.
Whether you think addiction is a choice or it hasn’t touched your family, you should never judge a situation without having a personal and deep understanding of what’s going on. More people died from an opiate overdose in 2015, than did in the height of the HIV/AIDs epidemic in the 1980s.
Please don’t think heroin or opiate addiction cannot happen to you or someone in your family, because it can. We are losing a generation of kids and young adults who deserve a chance to get clean and work to have a clean life, but without Narcan many will never have that opportunity.