Would you give an injection to someone who is experiencing a suspected opioid/heroine overdose if it would save their life? Unintentional drug overdose is now considered to be a leading cause of preventable death in the United States. Administering naloxone hydrochloride (“naloxone”) can reverse an opioid overdose and prevent these unintentional deaths.
I recently participated in a working group hosted by the Addiction Prevention Coalition. Dr. Mark Wilson, head of Jefferson County Health Dept. talked about legislation that would allow first responders, family, even other drug users to administer a life saving injection of the opioid antagonist Naloxone. About 80% of people using heroine are in the company of others, but those “friends” disappear when things go wrong. Part of the legislation would provide them with limited immunity from their own prosecution if they were to seek emergency medical assistance for the person overdosing. They could even give the life saving medicine to save their friend’s life.
Ten states passed laws allowing access to Naloxone in 2014 alone, and research shows that overdose rates were about 50% less than they would have been had Naloxone not been available.
Should people be allowed to give others the drug? Would you do it? What if it saved the life of your sibling, or parent?