You’ve probably seen Naloxone in the headlines as the opioid epidemic continues in the United States. Integrated Pain Consultants specializes in offering opioid alternatives including kyphoplasty, but at the heart of these more conservative measures is a desire to decrease dependency on dangerous, addictive medications. This starts with education.
Naloxone is carried by a number of first responders, such as police and EMTs, because it can instantly reverse the effects of an opioid overdose and revive the person. Recently, the Surgeon General urged everyone to have Naloxone on them because of its ability to save people from an overdose. However, simply carrying Naloxone isn’t enough. How do you use it?
Encouraging the public to carry this important drug antagonist is only half the battle. That’s like asking everyone to carry an EPI pen in case someone nearby goes into anaphylactic shock. In the moment, and when the stakes are high, it’s common to freeze up and be intimidated by the life-saving medication. It’s important to know how to use Naloxone and some basic information about this overdose reverser.
Naloxone works by blocking the opioid receptors in the brain. This immediately lets the person who overdosed to begin breathing again. However, Naloxone doesn’t “fix” an overdose. The effects last for only 30 – 90 minutes. The goal is for Naloxone to give you enough time to seek medical attention. If you don’t, the effects will wear off and the overdose will return (along with the side effect of not being able to breathe).
The Surgeon General said Naloxone should be carried just like you carry a first-aid kit. Keeping it in homes, businesses, and in the car are all good ideas. It’s very easy to administer and doesn’t involve any needles. Simply peel open the package. Naloxone looks a bit like a nasal decongestant, and is administered the same way. Place the tip into either nostril as far as you can (the bottle will stop you from inserting it too deeply) and press the plunger until all of the drug has been administered.
Those in rehabilitation from an opioid addiction, their family members, and those who work in areas where opioid overdoses are common are especially encouraged to carry Naloxone. For more information on opioid alternatives, call Integrated Pain Consultants today at 480-626-2552. We also invite you to learn more about Dr. Nikesh Seth and other providers including Dr. Anne-Marie Cosijns, Dr. Michael Givens, and our team of Nurse Practitioners.