With the rise in opiate use and drug-related deaths I wanted to let family members of opiate/heroin addicted loved ones know about a life-saving resource – Naloxone (a.k.a. Narcan). Naloxone is a drug that is used to reverse the effects of opiate overdose; emergency personnel often have it available and use it in suspected cases of overdose. It has the power to save lives and therefore, give the addicted loved one another chance for sobriety. Many states have laws that decriminalize the possession and use of Naloxone, including Oregon and Washington.
I encourage the family members of opiate-addicted loved ones who I work with to learn the signs of overdose, what to do in case of an overdose, and to get Naloxone. If you are interested in Naloxone, I highly recommend the websites http://stopoverdose.org/faq.htm (specific to WA, but the site has links to national resources; the site also contains tons of useful information about opiate overdose and Naloxone) and http://prescribetoprevent.org/community-access/ (contains information about Naloxone, opiate overdose, and where you can go to get Naloxone). Although it sounds dramatic, knowing what to do in the case of overdose, including how to use Naloxone, can make the difference between life and death for your addicted loved one.