Naloxone, The Overdose Drug, Saves Lives. So Why Can't Everybody Buy It?
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Health and Wellness

Naloxone, The Overdose Drug, Saves Lives. So Why Can't Everybody Buy It?

We have the tools to save a life, why shouldn't we use it?

Naloxone, The Overdose Drug, Saves Lives. So Why Can't Everybody Buy It?

Addiction is only a nine-letter word. That nine-letter word has the ultimate power to ruin a person’s life, crush their dreams, destroy their family and control their every move. The abuse and addiction to drugs, such as opioids, has soared in the United States in the past few years. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, about 2.1 million Americans are abusing prescription opioids such as Oxycodone, Fentanyl, and Hydrocodone, and about 467,000 Americans are suffering from a heroin addiction. Addiction to opioids is like coming as close to death as possible, without actually dying. Opioid addicts live off of that thrill. Unfortunately, the death rate due to overdosing has rapidly grown along with the abuse rate. The opioid epidemic is taking over the minds and souls of these addicts.

Opioid addiction isn’t something new in America. It is a rapidly growing epidemic that typically starts at home. The most frequent type of opioid abuse starts with a professionally prescribed pain killer such as Oxycodone. The Oxycodone pill that is prescribed by a doctor after surgery or some sort of severe pain is the same as a Percocet 5 or 10. This small dose is strong enough to get a patient high and even addicted. Those who get addicted then start to crave a higher dose such as 15 or 30. Eventually, those higher doses can turn into looking for something stronger and cheaper, such as heroin.

So, what happens when these abusers don’t exactly know their limits and are on the brink of death?

November of 2016 in Philadelphia, 50 people overdosed on a bad batch of heroin. Fortunately, EMT’s arrived at the scene fast enough to bring them all back with an overdose reversal drug called Naloxone. However, if those medics did not arrive in time with the drug, these addicts would have died on the scene. Naloxone, or "Narcan," can be administrated through IV’s, injections, or nasal sprays. It immediately and temporarily blocks the opiate receptors in the brain allowing the person to breathe normally again. It is not only a Heroin antidote, it reverses the effects of Fentanyl, Oxycodone, Morphine, Codeine and other narcotics. Typically, this life-saving drug is only carried by EMT’s, pharmacists, and doctors, although now it is a controversial topic as to whether Naloxone should be sold as an over the counter drug in local pharmacies, such as CVS.

The answer is yes. It absolutely should. If we have the tools to save a life, why shouldn’t we use it?

Some would argue that selling the reversal drug as a non-prescribed medication is promoting addictions and encouraging “junkies” to go get high. This is wrong. While we would all like to be superman and save the world, we know that no matter what an addict is going to find a way to get high. Knowing this we should give them the opportunity to live if they are taking their addiction to far. We cannot force them into rehab, and forcing them into withdrawal will kill them in the process. Having Narcan on hand will save their lives, which is the ultimate goal. People who are against selling Narcan only see these opiate abuses as “junkies” and “addicts.” They fail to realize that these people are still people. They are sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, and friends. They deserve the best chance at survival and they should get it.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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