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The Surgeon General Says More People Should Carry Naloxone, the Opioid Antidote. Here's Where to Get It and How Much It Costs

From TIME - April 5, 2018

The U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. Jerome Adams, issued a public health advisory on Thursday urging more Americans to carry and learn to use the opioid overdose-reversing drug naloxone.

Naloxone, which is often referred to by the brand name Narcan, can be lifesaving for people overdosing on opioids. As the nations opioid crisis has increased in recent years, first responders, emergency medical technicians and police officers have used naloxone to help revive people who are suspected of overdosing.

Adams said Thursday that community members, family and friends of people using opioids, and individuals using the drugs themselves, can help too. Knowing how to use naloxone and keeping it within reach can save a life, he said in the advisory.

Heres what you need to know about naloxone.

What is naloxone?

Naloxone is a medication that suspends the effects of an opioid overdose until emergency responders arrive. It works by blocking the opiate receptor sites and reverses the effects of an overdose, restoring a normal breathing pattern.

The drug can be administered through a nasal spray or as an injection. One form of injection, given as a shot, requires some professional training.

There is an easier naloxone shot, sold as Evzio and made by Kaleo, which you can buy without a prescription. This auto-injectable device comes pre-filled with naloxone and provides instructions for anyone to inject it into the thigh of someone who is overdosing.

The nasal spray, known by the brand name Narcan, does not require any assembly and is sprayed into one nostril of someone who has overdosed. Narcan is made by Adapt Pharma.

How much does naloxone cost?

Who can buy naloxone?

Where can you get naloxone for free?

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