The vital role Naloxone, the opiate antidote, plays in preventing overdoses

Every summer, city parks and beaches in New York are filled with families, teenagers and adults, enjoying games and drink and laughter. At the same time, in an unlikely location, a group of people…

The vital role Naloxone, the opiate antidote, plays in preventing overdoses

Every summer, city parks and beaches in New York are filled with families, teenagers and adults, enjoying games and drink and laughter. At the same time, in an unlikely location, a group of people are attending a life-saving training program designed to help recognize overdoses.

It has taken 20 years for New York to be ready to deal with a deadly public health crisis, and that is true of the other cities, from Los Angeles to Miami and from the Canadian border to the East Coast.

The number of unintentional overdose deaths among young adults has spiked since 2010. The cause, overdoses of fentanyl and carfentanil, which are synthetic opioids much stronger than heroin, is being connected to many deaths throughout the country.

In the recent past, the city saved many lives because officials noticed that in an age of drug addiction, overdoses were being contained to specific hours. The time of the day mattered because that is when anyone stopped by a pharmacy could order naloxone, the drug used to reverse overdoses.

The influx of fentanyl and carfentanil has not only changed the scale of this deadly epidemic, but also has challenged medical professionals, educators and police officers in what is a new mission for police.

You might understand the fear and confusion as the highly potent drugs have swept across the country, and the crucial concern about how to prevent its spread. But you might not understand how a nonmedical use of naloxone can bring out the best in people. Overdose deaths among young adults have spiked since 2010. The cause, overdoses of fentanyl and carfentanil, which are synthetic opioids much stronger than heroin, is being connected to many deaths throughout the country. In the recent past, the city saved many lives because officials noticed that in an age of drug addiction, overdoses were being contained to specific hours. The time of the day mattered because that is when anyone stopped by a pharmacy could order naloxone, the drug used to reverse overdoses.The influx of fentanyl and carfentanil has not only changed the scale of this deadly epidemic, but also has challenged medical professionals, educators and police officers in what is a new mission for police.

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