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Patients who are experiencing drug overdoses often have malfunctioning respiratory systems and central nervous systems as a result. They become unable to breathe, which is the direct reason why so many people die from drug overdoses. A medication that makes it possible for patients to breathe can already be used to save their lives, which is the case for Naloxone.

This is a medication that can address the effects of an overdose, making it much more likely for a patient to recover from that overdose. Many untrained individuals will not even know if a patient is experiencing a drug overdose until it is too late, since some of the symptoms include extreme drowsiness. Patients who are having a difficult time breathing might be in the early stages of a drug overdose. Unresponsiveness is also one of the main warning signs.

Medical professionals may decide to administer Naloxone if any of those warning signs are present. One of the benefits of Naloxone is that it is possible to safely use it to address an overdose that might be taking place, even if the people involved are not entirely sure that it is happening. Because the drug will not have any effects on the people who have not used opiates, the risks associated with a false alarm are lower.

 

Naloxone is Not Addictive

Some of the medications that have been used to treat opioid addictions and the symptoms of opioid problems are also potentially addictive. Methadone falls into that category. Naloxone is particularly valuable for medical professionals because it only affects patients who have recently taken opiates. It does not have any mood-altering effects. It is purely a harm reduction drug, which sets it apart from many of the other medications that have been used in the past.

Naloxone Administration

Medications that are difficult to administer can be less effective than others in practice. Even some medical professionals might not have the training required to administer some of them, and individuals without that background will not be able to use these medications.

People can learn how to administer Naloxone without much training. Medical professionals can gain experience with Naloxone easily, and it is still possible for people outside the medical field to learn how to use it.

Naloxone is now sold as a nasal spray, making it particularly easy for people to take it. They might not need any assistance at all, giving drug addiction patients the chance to protect themselves more effectively.

The people who do decide to administer Naloxone by using injections also will not need to specifically locate a vein, which can be difficult for some people. Many individuals lack prominent veins, which has caused challenges for even experienced phlebotomists and people in the medical field.

Drug addiction patients can also have damaged veins and circulatory systems, making the intravenous injection of any substance more challenging. It is possible to inject Naloxone into most muscles, making the injection less painful and easier for many people. Still, the nasal spray might be a better option for some.

The Use of Naloxone

Naloxone was prescribed twice as often in 2018 as it was in 2017. It is clear that the use of Naloxone is more widespread now than it used to be, and pharmacies are starting to make sure that patients have access to this medication. However, it is clear that Naloxone still is not accessible enough.

High-dose opiate prescriptions actually did decline from 2017 to 2018. There were 48 million of these prescriptions in 2017, and 38 million of them in 2018. However, the number of high-dose opiate prescriptions is still 70 times higher than the number of Naloxone prescriptions. It is clear that not all of the patients who might need Naloxone will have access to it, which may also be the case for local medical professionals.

Naloxone Resources

Patients who want to learn more about Naloxone can access plenty of useful sources now. The fact that this is a relatively new drug should make that process easier. There is already a great deal of widely available information on it.

  • Patients can learn more about the drug directly at NARCAN.com, which is the manufacturer’s website. The website has information related to the medication itself, as well as the administration of Naloxone. Patients should be able to get many of their questions about Naloxone answered here. If they do not currently have access to it in their area, they might even learn more about where they can find Naloxone after visiting this website.
  • The Overdose Prevention and Education Network has information related to Naloxone, including facts on where people can find it. Patients can quickly find out more about this drug from this organization, while also learning about drug addiction and harm reduction in general.
  • Get Naloxone Now is a resource that can help people who are specifically interested in this medication.