The epidemic of prescription opioids has continued to ravage across the country for several years now.  More and more people are being prescribed these powerful medications, as well as for longer amounts of time.  This, of course, has resulted in large numbers of individuals struggling with prescription drug abuse as well.  It also continues to take the lives of a multitude of people through overdoses.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, opioids killed over 33,000 people in 2015, and this was more than any other year.  In addition, close to half of overdose deaths from opioids involved a prescription.  The numbers have continued to increase despite many attempted handlings, and this has led to researchers and authorities on the matter to begin to look at various other approaches.  One helpful implement that has been increasing in use is the medication Naloxone, which can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose, often saving a person’s life.

Where Naloxone is Used

The use of Naloxone has continued to increase in several different sectors around the country.  One of the largest has been the use by first responders and police.  Being that these professionals encounter overdose victims quite regularly, their carrying of this medication allows them to save the lives of many of these people.  The increased implementation has begun to help reduce the number of deaths from overdose, but there is still a long a way to go, and there are many areas that need to employ the use of it further.

One potential distribution method for Naloxone that has been looked into is the provision of it along with prescriptions for opioids.  The reality is that prescription opioids are extremely potent drugs, and many have ended up inadvertently falling into addiction to them.  Especially when people are put on them for long periods of time or high doses for pain management, it can be quite easy to end up developing an addiction.  As a person continues to use opioids, their body will begin to build a tolerance and it will require higher doses for them to experience the same effects as before.  This causes many individuals to misuse their prescription by taking more than the recommended dose, and if large enough of a dose, it could cause them to overdose.  This is why it could potentially be a life-saving implementation for pharmacists to begin to offer Naloxone along with prescriptions for opioids.  Overdoses commonly happen within the privacy of an individual’s home, and if they had Naloxone there, a friend or family member could administer it and save their life. According to research, education about Naloxone, and provision of it to those more prone to witness or experience an overdose led to a 30-50% decrease in opioid-related deaths.

A universal offering of Naloxone with every opioid prescription would also help to decrease the stigma and shame in regard to asking for it.  The reality is that there are many out there who may want to ask for Naloxone, but are ashamed or scared that they will be criticized or reproved due to it implying an addiction.  Then, there is also the factor of pharmacists being afraid to offer it.  Pharmacists are often aware of those struggling with prescription drug abuse because of the rates they will fill their prescriptions, but they may not want to offer Naloxone for fear of the person getting upset at what they are implying.  But, if it becomes a consistent offering, it helps to eliminate the occurrence of this type of situation. Individuals would be regularly offered it and could potentially feel less ashamed in requesting it.

Opioid Addiction Rehab Can Help

While opioids can bring about an extremely heavy addiction, treatment can help a person to overcome it. New Beginnings is here to help find comprehensive opioid addiction rehab for you or your loved one achieve sobriety.  Give us a call today.

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