HealthDay News — The U.S. Surgeon General released an advisory urging increased availability of the opioid overdose-reversing drug naloxone earlier this year, according to a report published by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.
Surgeon General Jerome M. Adams, M.D., M.P.H., has urged more Americans to carry naloxone, a U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved medication that can be delivered via nasal mist or injection and can temporarily suspend the effects of opioid overdose.
As the rates of opioid overdose deaths are increasing rapidly, the Surgeon General is recommending that more individuals, including family, friends, and those who are personally at risk for an opioid overdose, carry naloxone. Patients and the public are advised to talk with their doctor or pharmacist about obtaining naloxone, learn the signs of opioid overdose, and get trained to administer naloxone in case of suspected emergency. Naloxone is covered by most insurance plans and may be available at low or no cost to those without coverage through local public health programs or through retailer and manufacturer discounts.
“To manage opioid addiction and prevent future overdoses, increased naloxone availability must occur in conjunction with expanded access to evidence-based treatment for opioid use disorder,” Adams said in a statement.