Heroin Overdose Antidote May Come To Your Pharmacy - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

Heroin Overdose Antidote May Come To Your Pharmacy

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(WLNS) - Heroin overdose is claiming more lives in this country than ever before.

But an antidote to heroin is bringing those on the brink of death "back to life" in a matter of minutes.

Now it could soon be available on store shelves.

It sounds almost impossible but there's a drug that will bring back a person who has overdosed on heroin.

Naloxone, or narcan, is described as an opiod antagonist. What it does is temporarily reverses the effects of opiod drugs, including heroin.

"It acutely reverses the effects in a life threatening situation, of medicine such as heroin and other opiates," says Dr. Grant Barkley, Sparrow Hospital emergency room physician.

Narcan is available at pharmacies to those who are recovering heroin addicts.

But a house bill introduced by State Representative Anthony Forlini of Macomb County will give friends and family of those who are recovering access to Narcan as well.

"It doesn't do much good when you prescribe a drug that's supposed to be self administered. If they're lying unconscious on the floor of the restroom or a dorm room...they're not gonna be able to administer it to themselves," said Rep. Forlini. 

This is what Narcan looks like now..

It is available in different hospitals and pharmacies. But according to Dr. Barkley, once Narcan is used the person should get medical attention.

"We do see this often. You could improve for about 10 or 20 minutes and then you could end up right where you were," said Dr. Barkley.

The patient requires immediate attention not only because Naloxone buys a short window of 20 minutes but it is also painful.

Dr. Barkley adds, "It isn't one of those drugs where you get high, come down a little bit and get high, t doesn't work that way. It's boom it gets you out of it for a period of time."

Rep. Forlini says he hopes the bill is the start of a conversation to putting an end to deaths caused by heroin.

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