Deaths due to opioid overdoses are on the rise in the Tri-Cities and across Washington. Wouldn't it be great if we could save some of those lives, spare friends and family from grieving, and give the drug users a chance to kick their addiction?
First things first. There is a way to potentially save the life of someone overdosing on fentanyl and other opioids. It's a nasal-spray medication named "naloxone," but you know it better as Narcan.
Who Should Have Narcan?
If you do drugs, or have friends or family that do drugs... You should have Narcan in your possession. Think of it as a first aid kit. Narcan can reverse the effects of an overdose and buy time for first-responders to arrive and give further aid. Call 9-1-1 as soon as possible.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, "People who are given naloxone should be monitored for another two hours after the last dose of naloxone is given to make sure breathing does not slow or stop."
Does Narcan Require a Prescription?
Washington State has a standing order to dispense Narcan (naloxone). "This standing order shall be considered a naloxone prescription," says the Washington State Department of Health.
You can read the entire standing order here, as well as instructions on how to administer Narcan.
Is Narcan Free in Washington State?
As a Washington State resident, you can order Narcan (naloxone) online for free, and have it mailed to you - for free. Get started by filling the form out here.
Is There a Cure for Opioid Addiction?
There is treatment for opioid addiction. This includes medication and counseling. Like alcoholism, it's considered a lifelong disease, so former drug users and those around them should be vigilant in maintaining a drug-free life. You can learn more about treatment here.