Naloxone is a drug that reverses an opioid overdose. It has been used by doctors and paramedics for decades and has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It works by forcing the opioids out of receptor sites in the brain and gets the person breathing again.
Naloxone is not mood altering and does not present any potential for misuse. Injectable naloxone is relatively inexpensive. It typically is supplied as a kit with two syringes, at a cost of about $6 per dose and $15 per kit.
Michigan has taken action
On October 13, 2014, Public Acts 311, 312, 313 and 314 of 2014 were signed into law.
These acts will:
- Allow Narcan to be prescribed to friends and family of heroin addicts, so it’s readily available in the event of an overdose.
- Protect a person administering Narcan in good faith to be immune from criminal prosecution or professional sanctions.
- Require emergency medical personnel to carry the drug in their vehicles and be trained in how to administer it.
- Require the state Department of Community Health to complete annual reports of opioid-related overdose deaths.
Naloxone saves lives, but . . .
Naloxone doesn’t work on other drugs, so it won’t help overdoses on other drugs like cocaine, Xanax, Valium, etc.
If the person overdosed on a combination of opioids and other drugs, naloxone might help, but it might not be enough.
Naloxone is not enough
Without treatment, the user is at high risk for another overdose.