naloxone

FHP Troopers To Get Drug To Combat Overdoses

Jan 18, 2018
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The Florida Highway Patrol announced Wednesday it is issuing naloxone, an overdose-reversal drug commonly known by its brand name, Narcan, to state troopers.

Pharmacists Slow To Dispense Lifesaving Overdose Drug

Jan 3, 2018
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Gale Dunham, a pharmacist in Calistoga, Calif., knows the devastation the opioid epidemic has wrought, and she is glad the anti-overdose drug naloxone is becoming more accessible.

Defeating one opioid overdose, one nasal spray at a time. That’s how the Broward County Sheriff’s Office (BSO) is going about the fight against the opioid epidemic.

Sheriff deputies in Broward have been armed with overdose reversal nasal sprays since June, but the Florida Sheriffs Association just gave BSO a big boost by shipping 1,200 units of the medication this week so more deputies are able to carry it on them every day. 

In Prince George's County, Md., every first responder carries naloxone, the drug that can reverse an opioid overdose.

"We carry it in our first-in bags," says Bryan Spies, the county's battalion chief in charge of emergency services. "So whenever we arrive at a patient's side, it's in the bag, along with things like glucose, aspirin and oxygen."

There are lots of ways to measure the recent spike in opioid overdoses in Miami-Dade County. You can look at the number of deaths from fentanyl—a potent drug often mixed with heroin sold in the street—which spiked from 13 in 2014 to nearly 300 just two years later, or at the even more powerful derivative carfentanyl, developed as an anesthetic for elephants, and which, by rights, should only be available at the zoo.

An overdose revival drug called Naloxone, commonly referred to as its brand name Narcan, can be bought over-the-counter in 14 states, but Florida is not one of them.

With the state’s overdose count increasing, the University of Miami’s IDEA Exchange Center, Florida’s first public clean syringe program, has recently been distributing the revival drug for free at its base location, in 1636 NW 7th avenue in Miami.

Pharmacy giant CVS says it will soon make the overdose-reversing drug Naloxone available at its Florida stores without a prescription.

University of Washington Health

A prescription drug that counters the effects of an opioid overdose will soon be available over the counter.

Daylina Miller / WUSF/Health News Florida

Law enforcement officers, medical professionals and drug educators met Tuesday in Tampa as part of a three-day drug summit to discuss drug trends, policies and solutions to drug abuse.

University of Washington Health

At the front of a classroom, health worker Cheryll Moore demonstrates "the nod" — a jerk of the head forward and then quickly back — a telltale sign of heroin use, though not necessarily of an overdose.

"In that scenario, they can go either way," she said. "I would not leave them alone."

After an hour or so of instruction that includes spotting signs of a life-threatening overdose, the class of ordinary people — couples, co-workers, parents, retirees and others — leaves with two vials of the prescription heroin antidote naloxone, better known by its brand name, Narcan.

Caregivers Need Power to Fight Opioid Overdose

Apr 21, 2015

Florida is experiencing an epidemic of opioid use and opioid overdose. When an opioid overdose occurs there are precious few seconds to save a person’s life.  

A caregiver or family member may find their loved one or patient unresponsive from an opioid overdose—unable to help them — and have little recourse except to call for emergency assistance and hope that help comes in time.  Often, a needless death is not prevented. 

However, an immediate injection of the drug Naloxone could help prevent this unintentional tragedy. 

Naloxone is a prescription medication used to rapidly counter the effects of opioids from powerful prescription pain-killers like morphine and OxyContin to street drugs like Heroin. While the drug’s effects are unpleasant, if administered quickly, it can revive people who’ve overdosed on opiate medications and save their lives. Florida lawmakers will consider a bill in the upcoming session to expand availability of naloxone by allowing physicians to prescribe the drug to friends or loved ones of those taking powerful prescription opioids so it could be quickly administered in the case of an overdose. Supporters of the measure point to the more than 2,000 accidental prescription overdose deaths in 2013. Opponents point to potential legal liability issues and argue the bill could encourage prescription drug abuse. 

University of Washington Health

For more than 40 years, there’s been a drug that can stop a heroin overdose in its tracks, if someone gives the drug in time.  

And it turns out that the same drug works for patients who overdose on prescription painkillers such as morphine or OxyContin --drugs called opiods because they mimic the action of opium.

Patient advocates say many deaths from accidental overdoses of prescription painkillers or heroin could be averted simply and at little expense if there were wider distribution of a drug the drug called nalaxone,  or its better known brand name of Narcan.