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Should Narcan Be Available to Parents?

Summary: The #1 cause of accidental death is overdose of opiate-based drugs. What if you could save someone you love from dying with one simple injection?
Air Date: 4/25/14
Duration: 10
Host: Leigh Vinocur, MD
Guest Bio: Stephen Anderson, MD
Dr. Stephen Anderson is an emergency physician near Seattle, Washington. He is the Chairman of the Stroke Committee at MultiCare Auburn Medical Center. Dr. Anderson was the Washington State chapter president of ACEP. He has appeared in many news outlets, including with Fox News, the Wall Street Journal and in a one-hour CNN documentary called Deadly Dose, which focused on the nation’s prescription drug abuse epidemic. He was also named ACEP’s Spokesperson of the Year in 2013.
Should Narcan Be Available to Parents?
Heroin use on the rise and all recent statistics point to growth in addiction to the drug.

It's important to get past the idea that heroin is used by street "druggies" or criminals. Often, heroin use and resulting addiction is a natural progression from addiction to prescription medications. This can affect anyone, from kids to housewives.

For some, this addiction can be deadly. In fact, the #1 cause of accidental death is overdose of opiate-based drugs.

But what if you could save someone you love from dying?

Narcan is a drug that rapidly reverses the effects of opiate-based drugs. Some physicians refer to is as the "Lazarus drug" because it literally brings people back from the effects of overdose.

The controversy of this drug arises when it comes to who should have access to the drug. Is it best in the hands of doctors? Or should it be available in your pharmacy?

There is a huge push to get Narcan into the community and into the hands of family members and friends... those who are most likely to come across individuals likely to use/overdose.

This is even more important as stronger opiates are coming onto the market.

Previously, Narcan was only available via injection. But recent developments have resulted in both nasal sniffer and auto-injector options.

Dr. Stephen Anderson joins Dr. Leigh to discuss the safety and efficacy of Narcan, as well as why it is so important to make the drug available to the general public.