Is It Time For Rehab
If you or someone you love has experienced an overdose resulting from problematic opioid use, you may want to think about attending a rehab program. This can be a wake-up call to make the changes you need to stop using and get into recovery. Attending rehab can make a major difference in your life by addressing the root cause of your addiction, easing withdrawal symptoms, improving your coping skills, teaching you techniques to prevent relapse, strengthening your ability to communicate effectively, improve stress management skills, replace substance use with healthy activities, develop a sober support network, and improve your overall health.13 Naloxone can save your life if you experience an overdose, but rehab can completely change your life when you are ready to stop using.
My Child Is In Rehab And I Expect That They Will Be Committed To Recovery When They Gets Out So Why Do I Need To Get A Naloxone Kit
The relapse rate associated with opioid use has been estimated to be as high as 90 percent. As a precautionary measure, its important to have naloxone in the home. Just as you dont anticipate having a fire, you probably have a smoke detector in the home this is the same kind of precautionary measure that you hope you never have to use.
How Long Does Narcan Last
Narcan has a very short duration of action. The âhalf-lifeâ of Narcan depends on the method of administration, but between 1.24â2.08 hours. Because of this, the duration of action of many opioids may outlast that of Narcan, and further doses of Narcan may be required. People who have received Narcan should be closely monitored for the need for further doses until they are in emergency hospital care.
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How Is Naloxone Administered
Currently, there are 2 types of Narcan available. Emergency medical technicians, first responders, and hospital staff have the medication on-hand, but recently, it has been approved by several states to be released through various pharmacies as well.
- The nasal spray is a single-use, single-dose only device. It requires no assembly and is easily administered to an individual as they lay on their back.
- The single-use auto-injector that can be held with one hand. Its verbal instructions describe step-by-step how to administer the medication.
A medical professional, family member, or caregiver can assist with supplying medication from either device. Since its possible for symptoms to return after 1 dose, emergency medical assistance should be contacted right away.
Naloxone is an Opioid antagonist or blocker that temporarily reverses the effects of Opioids for 20 to 30 minutesthe person who overdosed must still go to the emergency department for medical treatment.
– Dr. Michael Weaver, professor and medical director of the Center for Neurobehavioral Research on Addiction at the McGovern Medical School at The University of Texas Health Science CenterHouston
The amount of medicine needed will vary based on the individuals specific dosage and medical problem. Close family members or friends should be alert to overdose warning signs and know the devices location in case of an emergency.
How Is It Used
Narcan is available in three FDA-approved forms: an injectable, an auto-injectable, and a nasal spray. For injectable use, it can be administered intravenously , intramuscularly , or subcutaneously . Needle-based administration is usually limited to medical professionals while the other two forms are recommended if given by untrained individuals.
While all three forms of Narcan are equally effective, they can vary in potency. The nasal sprays have a higher concentration of 2mg/2mL compared to the injectables which only have 0.4 mg/1 mL. Depending on the strength, the effects of Narcan are only temporary and will wear off in 30 to 90 minutes. This medication is not a substitute for medical treatment and emergency services should be contacted immediately after having been administered. The overdose victim should receive CPR until help arrives.
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Firefighter Jason Lynch Responds To As Many As 40 Overdoses A Day
“You just walk by lines of different people shooting up and then you treat the third one on the left, and it’s just a matter of time before the first two go down as well.
“We are putting a small Band-Aid on a big cut.”
Free Narcan kits are distributed to any addict who wants one.
“You gave her four shots of Narcan?” Lynch asks.
The young woman is oblivious to her soiled shorts and the thick smell of human waste.
They convince her to go to hospital before the Narcan wears off and she passes out again.
“We need to walk you out to the ambulance,” Lynch tells her. “You don’t have a choice. You are just going to OD as soon as it wears off.”
Lynch tells CBC how he had to revive a 24-year-old girl twice in the same month.
“It wears on you, on your soul.”
Their next patient is a clean-cut, middle-aged man lying on the floor at a homeless shelter.
“He had taken fentanyl and was told it was really strong fentanyl and a lot of people were overdosing,” says Lynch, who believes the man was wise to get himself to a Lookout Society shelter before he passed out alone on the street.
Lookout Society, which operates several shelters in Greater Vancouver, decided two years ago to train its staff to handle overdose cases and to keep a supply of Narcan.
This story is part of a CBC investigative series on the fentanyl addiction crisis in B.C. and its implications for the rest of Canada. Read more:
Lynch is very concerned a potent batch of fentanyl has hit the streets.
Where Can You Get Narcan
In Florida and other states, Narcan is available at public health organizations dedicated to helping people with substance use disorders. PHOs may also offer free Narcan kits to family members and friends of people with opiate addiction. Walgreens and CVS pharmacies are providing coupons to people without health insurance to defray the cost of Narcan.
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Who Do I Call If I Use My Prescription Or If My Naloxone Expires And I Need A Refill
Since June 2017, naloxone can be replaced via any Maryland pharmacy. What you pay depends on whether you have insurance with a prescription drug plan and what that plan covers. Naloxone is covered by Maryland Medicaid. If you do not have insurance, ask a pharmacist about any discounts or coupons from the pharmacy or drug maker.
Side Effects Of Naloxone Use
It is uncommon for people to experience side effects from naloxone, though there have been rare cases of pulmonary edema as well as allergic reactions or hypersensitivity to the drug.7
Opioid withdrawal symptoms can also occur if you receive naloxone while dependent on opioids. These can include abdominal pain, aggression, anxiety, body aches, chills, cravings for opioids, diarrhea, dilated pupils, feeling dizzy or weak, fever, goosebumps, headaches, increased blood pressure and heart rate, insomnia, irritability, nausea, restlessness, runny nose, sneezing, sweating, tearing eyes, tremors, vomiting, and yawning.
In an emergency overdose situation, there should be no absolute contraindications to using naloxone. Hesitation to do so could result in overdose deaths.7
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When Should Narcan Be Used
Narcan® should be used to reverse an overdose caused by an opioid drug. Narcan® will not reverse an overdose that is not opioid related. Opioids prescription and illicit are the main driver of drug overdose deaths. In the United States, opioids were involved in 47,600 deaths in 2017, accounting for 68.7% of all drug overdose deaths.
Could I Get In Trouble For Giving Someone Narcan
No, you can not get in trouble for helping a victim during an overdose. Through the Pennsylvania Good Samaritan provision of Act 139, friends, loved ones and bystanders are encouraged to call 911 for emergency medical services in the event an overdose is witnessed, and to stay with the individual until help arrives. The provision offers certain criminal and civil protections to the caller so that they cannot get in trouble for being present, witnessing and reporting an overdose.
Administering Naloxone: Physicians are permitted to write third party prescriptions for naloxone and you are immune from liability for giving naloxone if you believed the person was suffering from an opioid overdose and you called for medical help/911 after giving the medication.
The Council on Chemical Abuse provides free Narcan Training to Berks County individuals and organizations. Contact us to schedule a time today!
You must live or work in Berks County, PA to receive a Narcan® Kit from COCA.
Not from Berks County, PA? See other options. For more information please contact: Brian Kammerer at | 376-8669 | Ext. 109.
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Myth #: Naloxone Prevents Addicts From Seeking Treatment
Truth: There is nothing to indicate that naloxone discourages addicts from entering a rehab program. If anything, this is the one drug that can save addicts from certain death and offer them a chance to get professional help. The near-death experience often serves as a catalyst to get clean and sober.
Myth #: Naloxone Is Only Given By Syringe
Truth: Some people have a serious phobia when it comes to using needles. Fortunately, naloxone comes in alternate delivery forms. For example, Evzio is a kind of naloxone auto-injector that painlessly and easily delivers a life-saving dose of the medication. In addition to intramuscular injections, the overdose antidote can also be administered via an intranasal spray. The thing to remember is that the injectable form of naloxone takes effect much quicker than the nasal spray. If the signs and symptoms indicate a life-or-death emergency, giving the medication via syringe is a better option.
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Who May Want To Have Narcan
If you have a family member or friend in outpatient drug rehab or are trying to get someone with an opiate addiction into treatment, consider buying several Narcan nasal sprays from your local pharmacy to keep on hand. Be mindful, too, that people can be at risk of relapse after completing a drug rehab treatment program. If you are living with someone in recovery from opiate addiction, keep Narcan nasal spray in a safe place where you can access it quickly if you need it.
Get A Free Naloxone Kit And Training
If you’d like a naloxone kit, just visit your local service. A trained member of staff will give you a kit, and teach you how to prevent and manage opioid overdoses. Naloxone training can take as little as 10 minutes.
Anyone can use naloxone in an emergency. You dont need to be a doctor or medical professional. We give kits to anyone who could use it to save a life, for example if you use opiate drugs or if someone you know does.
If you use your kit, or if it lost, damaged or out of date, well be happy to give you a new one.
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Reducing The Demand For Narcan Offers The Better Outcome
The best way to combat the need for Narcan is not to limit its access and allow those with an addiction to die. Rather, it is to create a robust addiction and mental health care system. This makes it possible to support and even prevent the need for the drug in the first place. Having a strong program in place could help support those communities in desperate need of treatment solutions.
What You Can Do
Consider becoming an advocate for change. Educate yourself about how the disease of addiction works. Learn more about local programs that need help in supporting recovery efforts. If you see a person struggling with addiction, help them find the assistance they need. They may not have another person to advocate for them and help them overcome their addiction. You may be that one person whose helping hand saves a life.
How Does Narcan Work To Counteract An Opioid Overdose
Narcan reverses the effects of all opioids, including morphine, heroin, hydrocodone, codeine, and even methadone. By targeting opioid receptors as an antagonist, Narcan essentially ejects opioid molecules off receptors to reverse signs of an overdose.
If you give Narcan to someone who is not overdosing on opioids, nothing pharmacological will happen. For example, if a non-drug user receives a dose of Narcan, or if someone high on a different type of drug such as a stimulant takes Narcan, they wont feel any different. Narcan does not cause side effects in those who are not overdosing on opioids.
Narcan is also very safe to take: It will not harm people who need it or people who may not need it.
All U.S. states passed statutes regulating expanded access to Narcan. Many states also have enacted Good Samaritan guidelines that protect anyone giving Narcon to someone presenting opioid overdose symptoms.
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First Responders Seeing More Fentanyl Overdoses
They are usually first on the scene, in an SUV, responding to medical calls after someone passes out on the street in the city’s Downtown Eastside.
This is an especially busy day, the firefighters explain, because it’s when people line up to get their monthly welfare checks.
It’s very difficult to see humans in that kind of trauma and situation.- Jason Lynch, Vancouver firefighter
“Welcome to Welfare Wednesday in Vancouver,” says firefighter Ryan McConnell, who explains that with all that cash on the street, fentanyl dealers and first responders are both in very high demand.
Overdose deaths from a bootleg version of fentanyl smuggled from Asia are expected to skyrocket across Canada this year.
According to statistics from provincial coroners, opioid overdoses now kill more Canadians than car crashes.
Approximately two people die every day in B.C. from accidental overdoses, and 62 per cent of those cases are linked to fentanyl.
A task force is working on the problem, but it’s the front-line paramedics and firefighters who see the devastation of bootleg fentanyl up close. The powerful painkiller is said to be up to 100 times more potent than morphine or heroin.
Your Anger Is Misplaced And You Should Really Do Your Research
Though not my intention, Im probably bound to anger someone with this post. However, theres a good chance the people who would be angered by what Im about to say are the same people who anger me once a week by posting their opinion on Facebook, about how upset they are that no good junkies who make the choice of killing themselves get Narcan for free while they pay an arm and a leg for the lifesaving medication known as the Epipen. So, sorry Im not sorry I guess.
But the truth is, it is bullshit Narcan is often administered for free or no more than $20, while those suffering from severe allergic reactions to certain foods and drugs, as well as asthma attacks struggle to pay for the overpriced medication that could be the difference between life and death for themthe same way Narcan can be for an addict who has overdosed.
However, its not the addict who has overdosed you should be upset with.
Its Big Pharma, the entire healthcare industry and the system at large which has grossly failed all of us, you should be angry at.
While its great no addict anywhere needs to die, thanks to Narcan or Nalaxone nobody anywhere should have to die when theres an over the counter solution sitting on literally hundreds of thousands of shelves across this country. A solution that costs fractions of pennies on the dollar to make then what they sell it for, nonetheless.
No man, woman or child should be without health insurance in this country.
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Theres No Easy Answer
While Narcans continued ability to halt overdoses without consequence remains to be seen, this much we do know: The opioid epidemic isnt going away. Overdoses will occur, Narcan or no Narcan.
You can equip yourself with knowledge that may prove lifesaving in the future. If you or your loved one struggles with an addiction to opioids, please consider the information below:
American Addiction Centers Offers Free Narcan Training Events For International Overdose Awareness Day
In honor of International Overdose Awareness Day, observed on August 31, a number of American Addiction Centers treatment facilities throughout the country will host Narcan training events to educate the public on how to administer the opioid overdose-reversal drug. A limited amount of the antidote will be available at each event.
Last year, fentanyl was responsible for more overdose deaths than cocaine, heroin, methamphetamines and prescription opioids, said Dr. Lawrence Weinstein, chief medical officer for American Addiction Centers. The presence of fentanyl is increasing in communities around the country. There is no telling when or where Narcan will be needed, so knowing how to administer it benefits everyone.
While preliminary numbers suggest that the amount of fatal overdoses decreased by 5%, 2018 still saw nearly 70,000 deaths, with an estimated 32,000 being attributed to synthetic opioids. Drugs are being adulterated with fentanyl at an alarming rate and often unknowingly. For example, the DEA noticed a 112% increase in the presence of cocaine/fentanyl combinations.
According to the U.S. Surgeon General, availability and awareness of Narcan, or naloxone, is a key component in the publics response to the opioid crisis. Research has shown that communities educated on overdoses and naloxone show a decrease in overdose deaths.
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