5-Dec-14 9:45 AM  CST

Naloxone: Heroin Overdose Drug Too Expensive for Use Many Say

This summer many police departments across the country took the unprecedented step to start carrying naloxone kits with them as part of their everyday equipment. Heroin overdosing is an alarming epidemic in this country, and not just in large cities. Small town, and suburbs are feeling the affects of heroin use as well. Heroin, an illegal Class I drug, is derived from the poppy plant. According to a survey by National Institute on Drug Abuse, in 2011 4.2 Million Americans ages 12 and older had admitted to using heroin. (NIHDA) With statistics such as this it is easy to see how this problem has gotten to critical mass.

            Heroin, which usually injected by the user, and therefore gives the user a much faster feeling of euphoria, is highly addictive. In fact NIHDA states that 23% of all people who use heroin will become dependent on the drug. Heroin has been responsible for thousands of accidently overdose deaths, a large part of the reason why police forces have decided to start carrying naloxone kits.

            New York City offices state the kits have gone from $20 to $44 in a very short period of time. This may not seem like a large sum, but given the number of kits some police forces need to carry, it can become quite expensive. Additionally, it is recommended that families and users of heroin retain a naloxone kit in the event of overdose. Naloxone counteracts the depression of the central nervous system and respiratory system that happens during overdose. Due to the lack of oxygen that opioid over dose induces, brain damage may occur within a matter of moments. Naloxone or its brand name Narcan is typical given as inject, but is also available as a nasal inhalation. Once the user has been administered naloxone they will began breathing normally in approximately 5 minutes.

 

 

 

 

References:

Goodman, J., (2014), “Drug Used to Stop Heroin Deaths is More Costly, Police Say”, New York Times, http://www.newyorktimes.com, retrieved, 1.December 2014

National Institutes on Drug Abuse, (2014) “Drug Facts: Heroin”, NIH, http://www.drugabuse.gov, retrieved 1.December 2014

 

Stopoverdose.org, (2014) http://www.stopoverdose.org/narcan.html, retrieved 1.December 2014


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Source: Sandy Andrews  

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