If we don't open a dialogue, if we don't free up the resources, if we don't free up the community, we're not going to succeed... and the concern now is that possibly by the mid 2020's, we could be losing a hundred thousand people a year to overdose, that's not sustainable.
U.S. Surgeon General Jerome M. Adams issued the first advisory to come from the office in 13 years Thursday morning. Though the adverse effect of wider access to naloxone is unintentional, it also shows that there is a need to address the addiction itself and not just to prevent deaths, something that the Surgeon General agrees with.
For those who are uninsured, the antidote is often available at little or no cost through local public health programs, Adams said. 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.
"We are committed to making naloxone easier to obtain and have taken a number of steps to help curb the rise in overdose deaths", Richard Ashworth, president of operations at Walgreens, said in a statement.
"When they succumb to an overdose, they aren't going to be able to Narcan themselves and they will die", Rowley said. "Hospitals, which are linked to the county's program as Alternate Dispensing Sites, have trained an additional 949 people". First responders sometimes have to use multiple doses of naloxone because of the potency of synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl and carfentanil.
The Bellevue Fire Department's paramedics have been using the drug since at least 2001, said Emergency Medical Services supervisor Shari Lentsch.
"Addiction's a chronic disease".
Fincher added that "one thing that has been proven to save lives is the overdose reversal medication known as naloxone".
Gary Mendell, founder and CEO of Shatterproof, a national nonprofit that works to reduce drug addiction, said he feels naloxone should be as readily available as public fire extinguishers.
Herod says she has no problem herself getting involved, "I have Narcan on my desk on the floor in the state capital right now". Even if the patient regains consciousness because of naloxone, Rowley said it's important to still get them checked by medical professionals because fatal problems can follow an overdose.
"Finally I said I can't live like this anymore", said Green, who now has a recovery coaching business and is a singer-songwriter. This usually involves a state authorizing pharmacists to prescribe the drug or, in many cases, the state health director, acting as the state's physician, issuing a "standing order" to pharmacists to distribute it.
Several drugmakers make injectable version of naxolone. For people who do not usually consume opioids, 2 milligrams is a deadly dose.