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New naloxone device lets anyone save an opioid overdose victim
Are you a family member or friend of someone using or abusing opioids? If so, this blog is for you.
Whether they’re dependent on legitimate prescriptions or they’re abusing illicit prescriptions and street drugs, we have some important, possibly life-saving news.
The FDA has just approved a new hand-held, drug-overdose treatment device that can revive opioid overdose victims. Called Evzio, it can be used by anyone – family, friends, fellow drug users – to save a life. No medical training is needed. It’s going to be available this summer.
Evzio is about the size of a cigarette pack, and contains the drug naloxone that reverses the effects of opioid overdose. And it provides visual and voice instructions to help you apply it to a victim.
The idea is that, if an overdose occurs, someone is nearby who knows what’s happening – the victim is a known opioid user, has stopped breathing and has probably lost consciousness – and there is an Evzio device handy.
Evzio is quickly retrieved from pocket, purse or medicine cabinet, activated by pulling a tab and then pressed firmly against the victim’s thigh for 5 seconds. It works through jeans and other normal clothing. As you can see from the illustration, it’s not a syringe, just a thin little box that neatly fits your hand.
Return to consciousness should be almost immediate. But if not, a second dose can be given which will almost always work. If two doses don’t work, the naloxone was too late or it’s not an opioid overdose. The company advises to always keep two doses available.
Naloxone has been the standard treatment for opioid overdose for many years. But it’s been available mostly in ERs. Naloxone kits requiring some special medical training are carried by an increasing number of emergency responders. But although many lives are being saved with it, cops and ambulances sometimes arrive too late. Evzio hopes to dramatically increase the number of overdose rescues by being readily available on the scene.
Now, we don’t want this to sound like an Evzio commercial. Novus certainly doesn’t believe that an easy-to-use device like Evzio is any excuse to continue using and abusing drugs. Every day we see joyful evidence that opioid detox is a much, much better way of handling addiction, than letting it go on until someone almost dies. Here at Novus, we’re deeply committed to helping people overcome opioid addiction before they fall prey to a potentially fatal overdose.
But we are also realists. We’ve been dealing with the prescription drug and heroin addiction epidemic for years, and we know that only a small percentage of users get the treatment they need. Overdose deaths from opioids have quadrupled in 10 years to nearly 17,000 a year, and more than 3,000 of these are from heroin. These staggering statistics now surpass traffic fatalities in many states.
So we think it’s in everyone’s interest to take a look at all the naloxone solutions available – as long as they don’t become considered a “solution” to the dangers of opioid overdose. Only opioid detox, rehab, and long-term abstention are the safe and permanent solution.
We strongly encourage you to do your utmost to prevent a risky overdose in the first place. Get your relative or friend into a medical detox program, like the opioid withdrawal and detox program here at Novus. This is the best way to help save that person’s life.
As we said at the beginning, this blog contained important news for the family and friends of opioid abusers. And indeed, having naloxone handy isn’t a bad idea.
But never forget that you can’t possibly be poised and ready, 24/7, to leap to the rescue of an opioid addict lying in an alleyway on the other side of town. Get the people you care for on the road to full recovery and a life free from drugs before it’s too late.
Call Novus any time to get your questions answered about opioid detox. We are always here to help.
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