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The Importance of Naloxone Kits in Communities

Posted on :  December 1st, 2015  |  By :  towardsrecovery

In the world of opioid addiction, naloxone is a miracle. This relatively new medication works quickly as an antidote to opiates. When someone takes an opioid like heroin, morphine, oxycodone, or methadone, their breathing can slow and they can be difficult to awaken from this drugged state. Naloxone (known by the trademarked name Narcan) reverses the overdose by blocking the opioids. It is not possible to get high off of naloxone because it is designed to only work on people who have taken opioids. Without opioids in the body, the drug does not have anything to affect.

The medication is easy to administer. There are two methods. One is similar to that of an epinephrine shot, where it is injected into the thigh muscle or arm or buttocks. It can also be given in a spray form through the nose. The injected version is more common. It only takes about five minutes for the drug to work, but some people do require a follow-up dose if the first one does not help with the overdose.

Everyone would agree that heroin addictions are dangerous to people and their communities. Fortunately, those communities are working to help their people by purchasing dosages of naloxone to use when residents get high and overdose on opioids. In the United States, individual states and counties are adding these dosages to their sheriffs’ offices and first responders’ kits. Not only are the stocking the medication, but they are training people to provide treatment and intervention in campaigns to create awareness and equip the necessary personnel to recognize opioid abuse and fight it. Many of the awareness campaigns are headed by local government mental health offices and public safety offices.

It is common for communities to have more than 100 Narcan kits to use when first responders are directed to locations where people are overdosing. The kits provide a dosage of Narcan as well as information to help the addicts start working toward recovery. Some communities are getting the intramuscular injectable dosages and other are requesting the nasal spray. Public safety officers usually prefer the nasal spray because it is easier to administer when compared to giving the injection. The information in the kits include cards with contact information and locations where addicts can go for treatment.

Many communities in the United States have had difficulty getting these kits in their possessions. They have to get permission from their state or local legislation, depending on the laws for dispensing prescription medication. Once legislation approves the laws, the communities have immediately stocked their shelves. One community in Michigan has already saved nearly 20 lives through the Narcan kits.

It is important for communities that are adding naloxone kits to their public safety vehicles and offices to understand how to use the kits. Training usually involves instruction on using the injector or the spray. It also involves a layman’s understand of the brain and how neurobiology makes people crave opioids once they begin taking them. Naloxone can help with overdoses due to hard drugs like heroin and with prescription medications that have increased overdoses in communities all over North America. Training also helps public safety officers about the way that heroin and opioid addiction is treated and how society views addicts. This is designed to help more people understand how important it is to get help to fight the addiction.

The numbers do not lie. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States believes that over 100 people in the United States die from opioid overdoses. This is a scary fact that needs to be reversed. With communities organization action with the naloxone kits, lives will be saved and treatment can begin.

Who We Serve ?

  • Individuals using/abusing street narcotics (e.g. heroin).
  • Patients abusing prescription narcotics(i.e., Codeine, Talwin, Percocet/Percodan, Dilaudid, Morphine or Demerol, et cetera).
  • Individuals displaying any of the following behaviours: Compulsive drug use or drug seeking/craving.
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