Very recently, Dr. Jerome M. Adams, the United States Surgeon General, gave out a national advisory to Americans. He said that more Americans should carry naloxone, due to the enormous opioid/opiate epidemic.
More people than ever are overdosing on opiates, opioids and other drugs. This problem has a lot to do with the fact that many types of drugs are cut with highly deadly substances such as fentanyl. Within the past few years, overdoses have shot through the roof. Currently, death rates in the overdose epidemic are worse than the death rates at the peak of the HIV epidemic.
Each day, 115 Americans die of opioid overdoses. This equals out to about one death every 12.5 minutes. More than half of opioid overdoses happen at home. Seventy-seven percent of opioid overdoses happen in non-medical settings. From 2015 to 2016, the number of fentanyl-related deaths doubled. During this time, there was also an increase in deaths from cocaine and methamphetamines. This is why as many people as possible should carry naloxone.
Many states and cities allow people to buy naloxone at pharmacies without prescriptions. There are various public health programs that make it available to people at low prices. It is covered by many health insurance providers. Naloxone can be injected, as well as administrated through a nasal form.
People who work in law enforcement carry naloxone on them. In some places, health, fire and police departments are having a harder time attaining it. As there is more demand for it, it becomes more expensive and puts an economic strain on people and organizations. There is such a need for it that the authorities in some places have a hard time supplying naloxone to everyone who needs it. Tough decisions are made as authorities give priority to who they think should first receive it. Some cities, such as Baltimore, cannot afford to keep stockpiles of naloxone on hand.
The opiod problem must be pretty bad, considering the fact that the United States Surgeon General rarely gives out national advisories to Americans. The last national advisory was in 2005 when a Surgeon General said that women should not drink while pregnant. The one before that came in 1981, telling pregnant women to cut down on alcohol consumption.
The United States Drug Enforcement Administration claims that fentanyl is 25 to 50 times more powerful than regular heroin, which is why it is so deadly. It also happens to be 50 to 100 times more powerful than morphine. For people who do not usually consume opioids, 2 milligrams is a deadly dose.