Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

[Reblog] One way to prevent deaths by opiate overdose – Naxolene

From the 6 February 2014 blog item by Mackenzie Fuller at 100 resumes- the perils and victories of starting a public health career

……..

For opiate users, one option for harm reduction is to provide individuals, their friends, or other people close to them with naloxone (aka Narcan), an antidote to opiate overdose that can be administered intranasally, intramuscularly, or intravenously. Paramedics carry it for responding to potential drug overdoses, but sometimes paramedics aren’t called or arrive too late.

The recent death of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman from a suspected overdose has increased the news coverage of heroin deaths and the importance of naloxone. In my opinion, this news coverage of such an excellent actor highlights that users of heroin and other life-threatening drugs are multi-faceted, complex people, rather than beyond-hope dregs of society. I’m sure to many people this is a no duh statement, yet stereotypes continue to exist.

In July of 2013, Outside In started training their clients to administer naloxone. According one of their Facebook posts, they have trained 600 people and have had 174 overdose reversals reported to them as of February 5th, 2014. That is a lot of lives. While administering naloxone does send a person into withdrawal, withdrawal is better than death. Outside In also runs a needle exchange program, another harm reduction strategy.

In 2013, Oregon passed  SB 384 A, a law allowing persons who have completedtraining (developed by Oregon Health Authority) to possess and administer naloxone for treatment of opiate overdose. The law also gives such individuals immunity from civil liability except for in the case of wanton misconduct. The law became effective June 6th, 2013.

There are naloxone laws expanding access to this antidote in 17 states plus the District of Columbia (though not all the laws are state-wide). See this informative document by the Network for Public Health Law for more information.

……

“How To Stop Heroin Deaths”: Up To 85 Percent Of Users Overdose In The Presence Of Others [mykeystrokes.com]

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February 8, 2014 - Posted by | Public Health | , , , , , ,

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