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Naloxone showing success preventing opiate overdose

Published On: 09-29-2015 in Category: addiction, health, medicine, treatment


There is a miraculous new treatment that is extremely effective when dealing with cases of opiate overdose. Naloxone is a pharmaceutical treatment that is also known as an opiate antagonist that blocks and systematically reverses the excess effects of chemicals in the body. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, naloxone is often injected and has been used to reduce the effects of pain-relieving drugs after surgery and with newborns to protect them from the opiates administered to the mother before delivery.

San Francisco Police Department officers are being trained to use the drug as part of a pilot program. As of late August, approximately 750 members of the department are equipped with the tools and knowledge to use the substance in the field, an additional 1,500 will receive training later this year and within the month of July alone, 75 deaths by overdose have been prevented.

In an interview with ABC News, Officer Mike Mellone explained a near-death situation that was quickly remedied, “When I arrived, I actually found this man down on the ground. He was actually in the middle of the street, totally unresponsive… Within a few minutes, the person who was previously unconscious, was having trouble breathing. I started to see signs that he was coming to and by that time the ambulance crew had arrived.”

Furthermore, local law enforcers are not the only individuals being armed with this vital medicine. HealthRight 360, a free, statewide clinic with a facility in San Francisco also offers the prescription to friends or loved ones of an opiate user who may need it during an emergency.

Past research has also supported how effective naloxone is. In the 2006 study, “Provision of naloxone to injection drug users as an overdose prevention strategy,” a collection of researchers from the New York Academy of Medicine, Columbia University, the University of Michigan and other New York research and treatment facilities recruited a total of 25 participants who were then given naloxone to use. From the total sample, naloxone was used in 10 of 17 reported overdoses and resulted in a 100 percent survival rate. An additional 2012 review entitled, “Community-Based Opioid Overdose Prevention Programs Providing Naloxone — United States, 2010,” conducted by researchers at the Harm Reduction Coalition in Oakland, California found that between 1996 and 2010, naloxone distribution to various organizations across the country led to 10,171 overdose reversals.

Overall, naloxone has demonstrated its effectiveness as a last resort strategy to keep an opiate abuser alive. An addict requires detox, rehabilitative therapy and other supportive resources for long-lasting results to take effect. If you or a loved one has been unsuccessfully coping with drug or alcohol dependency, contact the San Francisco Drug Treatment Rehab Center online or over the phone to find services that fit your needs.

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