LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – A drug that can reverse opioid overdoses could become more easily available.
Naloxone is a medication that blocks opiate receptors in the nervous system and rapidly reverses opioid overdoses when given to an overdosing person in a timely manner.
It can save a life when administered to somebody overdosing on an opioid, such as heroin, fentanyl, or oxycodone.
The FDA has issued a notice that could help increase access to Naloxone without a prescription.
“It’s really essential for anyone trying to recover from an opioid addiction,” executive director of Mid-Michigan Recovery Services, Patrick Patterson said. “We have had two dramatic rescues here when patients overdosed here in the bathroom. It’s traumatic,” he added.
According to the CDC, more than 107,000 Americans died of an overdose in 2021. Nearly 75% of those overdoses were related to opioids, including heroin and fentanyl.
Patterson believes that having access to Naloxone over the counter will prevent more deaths.
“I don’t think it’s more dangerous than putting other drugs like Claritin over the counter,” Patterson said.
That’s why Patterson stocks the drug and makes it readily available in his office.
“I highly recommend if you’re an opioid user that you have some Naloxone around. In your purse, in the glove box, in the medicine cabinet because if you need it, you need it right now. Naloxone saves lives,” Patterson said.