Opioid crisis: US Surgeon General urges access to overdose antidote

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The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), representing the nation's almost 3,000 local governmental health departments, supports Surgeon General Jerome M. Adams' recommendation urging more Americans to carry the opioid overdose-reversing drug naloxone.

The surgeon general's recommendation is an important public message that lifts opioid misuse and opioid overdose deaths from the margins and places these issues in the mainstream, according to CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta. While paramedics-and increasingly, police officers-carry naloxone, they often arrive too late for it to save someone's life.

One-hundred-twenty people in Berks County died from an opioid overdose previous year, according to representatives with the Council on Chemical Abuse, or COCA. More Americans should be carrying around the potentially life-saving drug, U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams announced on Thursday, April 5th.

Evzio, with a list price of $4,100 for a twin-pack of auto-injectors, contains the overdose-reversing drug naloxone and can be used in emergencies by people without medical training. Between 2010 and 2016, the number of opioid-overdose deaths jumped from 21,000 to 42,000.

"To manage opioid addiction and prevent future overdoses, increased naloxone availability must occur in conjunction with expanded access to evidence-based treatment for opioid use disorder", Adams said.

Amid an opioid crisis that is claiming tens of thousands of lives each year, the US surgeon general on Thursday urged Americans to start carrying a drug that reverses overdoses.

Here's what you need to know about naloxone. The Surgeon General urges the public to carry the antidote, but some aren't convinced it would help the crisis.

Mendell said the opioid plan Trump introduced in New Hampshire several weeks ago lacked details and specifics about how to achieve its various goals. "Pharmacy's commitment to fostering naloxone access has always been about helping to save lives, along with initiatives focused on abuse-prevention".

While large employer coverage spending on opioid prescriptions hit a high in 2009, spending on treating opioid addiction and overdoses has spiked in recent years. While the brand-name Narcan kit is more than $100, she said, a generic injection of naloxone runs about $25 and a nasal kit is a little less than $30.

Increased Naloxone Access Not Enough?

We're also working with Adapt Pharma and Kaleo [two makers of naloxone available in the U.S.] to try to keep costs low.

Alabama has already passed legislation to allow for the drug use.

"The availability of naloxone doesn't increase one's use in any shape or form", Reynolds said. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration offers an Opioid Overdose Toolkit, and other government websites offer more information about naloxone's side effects and access.