Category Archives: Naloxone

Evzio For Reversal of Opioid Overdose

evzio-naloxoneEvzio is an FDA-approved emergency treatment that counteracts the effects of opioid overdose. It is an “auto-injector” designed to contain a retractable needle and a 0.4 mg dose of naloxone. Naloxone is a powerful opioid antagonist that reverses the effects of overdose with heroin or other opiates. Naloxone has been used throughout the country in the past few years and literally saved hundreds of lives.

evzio-imageKaleo Pharma is the manufacturer of Evzio. The company specializes in innovative solutions for serious and life threatening medical conditions. Kaleo Pharma is based out of Richmond, Virginia, USA.

As has been documented in national media, very potent forms of heroin have become available much of it laced with other opiate derivatives like fentanyl. These combinations have proven lethal in a large number of cases often with younger people being the victims of overdose due to not understanding the extreme potency of the drugs being sold.

Products like Evzio in the hands of family and local emergency response teams can yield life saving interventions within minutes.

When addicted people survive a near fatal overdose, this often acts as a necessary catalyst to enter treatment and to step onto the path of personal recovery. Overdose survivors sometimes reflect on what has happened to them and may realize the pain that their death would have caused their children, friends, and family. The vast majority of overdoses are accidental and are nearly always preventable.

It is important to remember that addiction is an illness and that addicted people can recover, and can go on to live much improved lives when they are ready to change. Evzio will most likely save many people and give them that opportunity to live a life of real recovery.

For more about naloxone

Naloxone Reverses Opioid Overdose and Saves Lives

naloxone-kitMore communities across the U.S. are facing the devastation of opioid overdose. The impact on families is profound as they often struggle with questions of “Could we have done more?” and ponder what else must be done to address this growing national epidemic.

Highlighted in the news this week was the heroin overdose death of a Louisville cheerleader and the suspected opioid overdose death of a 27 year old man in North Carolina found slumped behind the wheel of his pick-up truck with an empty bottle of painkillers and a spoon beside him.

Naloxone is an FDA-approved medication that reverses the effects of opioid overdose. It is an opioid antagonist and consequently knocks opiates off of the body’s opioid receptor sites thus reversing central nervous system and respiratory depression which are the most dangerous consequences of opioid overdose. In many cases, naloxone quickly restores breathing and allows overdose victims to regain consciousness in a relatively short period of time. Naloxone is administered by injection or intranasally as a mist.

An increasing number of emergency first responders are now carrying naloxone kits as are some police units in select areas of the country. Local government is now more involved too with new legislation having been proposed in the last year to dramatically increase funding for the provision of naloxone kits.

Ideally, naloxone will one day become readily available without prescription to anyone via their local pharmacy. There is no upside to politicizing something as beneficial as naloxone because it simply saves lives. Note that the medication itself produces no drug high.

Opioid Addiction Spiking in Guilford County North Carolina

policeGuilford County is the third most populated county in the state of North Carolina. Located within Guilford County are the cities of Greensboro and High Point – both of which are experiencing a surprising increase in opioid addiction and related overdoses.

The High Point Enterprise news reported that the High Point Vice and Narcotics unit has begun to make a favorable impact on the problem with multiple arrests of those trafficking heroin locally. The article documents that 70 reported High Point opioid overdoses have occurred thus far in 2014 with 9 of those ending in death. Six people were arrested the week of July 14 and are being held on multi-million dollar bonds for their roles in selling or trafficking heroin. To emphasize the local impact, the HP Enterprise reported that 7 overdoses occurred within a 24 hour period on May 16, 2014.

Just 15 miles away in the neighboring city of Greensboro, Rhino Times covered the local explosion in heroin addiction much of which has been driven by individuals turning to heroin when they could no longer obtain prescription opioids like oxycodone. Rhino Times interviewed the Director of Guilford County Emergency Services, Jim Albright, who stated that a particularly strong strain of heroin hit the streets of Greensboro in late April, 2014.

Over the weekend of April 25, the Guilford County EMS responded to an avalanche of calls in response to people overdosing on the new potent version of heroin. Mr. Albright is reported to have identified that 21 overdoses and 5 deaths occurred just in that one weekend. Due to the potency of the drugs, some victims were found with a needle still in their arm.

Highlighted in the article was the life saving properties of Narcan, a drug that quickly reverses the dangerous overdose effects of opiates. Narcan can be administered by injection or squirted into the nasal cavity. As it is absorbed into the body, it restores breathing to those that have overdosed. Narcan is now kept in first responder vehicles, firetrucks, and ambulances. Visit Alcohol & Drug Services for more on Narcan and opioid overdose prevention kits.

For information on methadone as a treatment for opioid addiction, click here.

Opiate Abuse Epidemic Addressed by Massachusetts Governor

massachusettsThe State of Massachusetts is experiencing dramatic levels of opioid abuse and their Governor, Deval Patrick, is sharply focused on addressing the problem. A compelling Boston Globe article has highlighted the growing problem with heroin and other opiates across the state noting that 185 people died of heron overdose between November 2013 and February 2014.

Also mentioned in the article was the state’s plan to increase funding for drug treatment by $20 million and to prohibit the sale of Zohydro, a highly potent prescription painkiller that has drawn much attention and criticism due to its ability to potentially worsen the opioid epidemic in America.

Governor Patrick has declared the opioid abuse problem a public health emergency and is taking active measures to increase the availability of naloxone to Massachusetts public workers so that they can intervene to save the lives of those experiencing an opiate overdose. Naloxone is a powerful opioid antagonist that reverses the effects of opioid overdose within minutes. Numerous overdose victims have been saved in recent years as a result of medical personnel or bystanders having access to naloxone.

The state also intends to crack down on the over prescription of pain medication and will be requiring physicians and pharmacies to participate in the prescription monitoring program. Participation was previously only voluntary, but will now be mandatory. Prescription monitoring reduces the prevalence of “doctor shopping” and also the diversion of prescription medications to the street where they are resold at a premium.

While naloxone can save lives by reversing the effects of opioid overdose, methadone also saves lives by removing the desperate daily struggle to avoid opioid withdrawal. This daily struggle often leads to premature death or long term incarceration. Suboxone (buprenorphine) provides the same medication-assisted support which allows those lost in addiction the ability to stabilize and move forward again. It is important to emphasize that medication-assisted treatment should always incorporate long term counseling and recovery-building since addiction is not just a physical dependency problem. The psychological component of addiction is what is addressed through counseling and therapy.

Heroin Addiction in Charlotte, North Carolina

methadone-blog-picAs has been widely documented in recent news media, heroin addiction is on the rise in the United States and does not appear to be slowing down anytime soon. From densely populated metropolitan cities to rural America, opiates are finding their way into schools, places of employment, and the upper socio-economic strata.

A well-written piece is just out in Charlotte Magazine profiling an intelligent 21 year old man by the name of Alex Uhler who succumbed to the pull of heroin, and sadly died of a fatal overdose. His story clearly illustrates a number of complex issues around addictive disease: the shame associated with being addicted, the extent some will go to conceal their addiction, and that it is an illness which impacts all people regardless of race, money, intelligence, or status.

The article addresses the increased presence of heroin in Charlotte, NC partly in response to the crackdown on, and scarcity of, prescription opioids. The extensive piece, by Lisa Rab, speaks to the emergence of opioids in professional work settings and schools, and touches on the frequency of co-occurring disorders alongside the addiction such as clinical depression, ADHD, and bipolar disorder.

Naloxone is also highlighted in the article sidebar as it has gained notable acceptance as the leading antidote for opioid overdose, and has been already documented to have saved hundreds of lives just in recent years. Naloxone can be administered by any bystander to an overdose victim. There are injectable and intranasal versions of the medication available at this time.

A local law enforcement official was quoted as saying that Charlotte’s drug problem cannot be eradicated by merely arresting drug dealers because there is always another up-and-coming dealer waiting on the sideline to take that vacant spot. The official said that society must stem the demand for drugs. Only then can we make our communities safer.

Medication-assisted treatment should most definitely continue to be funded and promoted as our society endeavors to save people from chronic opioid addiction. Many individuals have needlessly died when their lives and safety could have been restored through enrollment in an opioid treatment program. Methadone, buprenorphine (suboxone), naloxone and naltrexone are highly beneficial medications and act as a critical bridge in the addiction recovery process.

While Charlotte has a number of methadone clinics and buprenorphine-approved physicians, funding for opioid treatment remains a substantial obstacle for a number of people. Methadone is the most affordable option although various formulations of buprenorphine (suboxone) are becoming more cost-effective.

For more on opioid addiction, see Opioid Addiction in the United States