Boom in overdose-reversing drug is tied to fewer opioid deaths

  
Via:  perrie-halpern  •  3 weeks ago  •  22 comments

 Boom in overdose-reversing drug is tied to fewer opioid deaths
The United States is in the midst of the deadliest drug overdose epidemic in its history.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T


By   Associated Press


Prescriptions of the   overdose-reversing drug naloxone   are soaring, and experts say that could be a reason overdose deaths have stopped rising for the first time in nearly three decades.


The number of   naloxone prescriptions   dispensed by U.S. retail pharmacies doubled from 2017 to last year, rising from 271,000 to 557,000, health officials reported Tuesday.



The United States is in the midst of the deadliest drug overdose epidemic in its history. About 68,000 people died of overdoses last year, according to preliminary government statistics reported last month, a drop from the more than 70,000 in 2017.


"One could only hope that this extraordinary increase in prescribing of naloxone is contributing to that stabilization or even decline of the crisis," said Katherine Keyes, a Columbia University drug abuse expert.


About two-thirds of U.S.   overdose deaths involve some kind of opioid , a class of drugs that includes heroin, certain prescription painkillers and illicit fentanyl. Naloxone is a medication that can reverse opioid overdoses, restoring breathing and bringing someone back to consciousness. It first went on sale in 1971 as an injection. An easier-to-use nasal spray version, Narcan, was approved in 2015.


Local, state and federal officials have embraced naloxone as a lifesaving measure. Some cities and states have standing orders that allow pharmacies to give it out without a doctor's prescription, and officials have tried to put it into the hands of virtually anyone who might encounter a person overdosing, including drug users, police and even librarians.


CDC researchers noted there were fewer than 1,300 naloxone prescriptions dispensed in 2012, meaning the number grew more than 430-fold in six years.


Health officials said pharmacies should be giving out even more.


"We don't think anybody is at the level we'd like to see them," said Dr. Anne Schuchat of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


The CDC report is based on data from IQVIA, a company that tracks health care information, and looked at prescriptions from more than 50,000 retail pharmacies across the country. It included both prescriptions written by doctors for specific patients and those filled under the broader standing orders.


The report offers only a partial picture, however, since only about 20 percent of naloxone was sold to retail pharmacies in 2017, according to an earlier government report.


Still, it's the CDC's first close look at where most retail dispensing is happening. The agency provided data for about 2,900 of the nation's 3,100 counties and parishes.


The researchers found it was most common in cities, and in the South.


Experts said the findings likely reflect a number of factors. More naloxone is likely prescribed in places where more people are using opioids and where policies increase access.


For example, of the 30 counties with the highest rate of naloxone dispensing, 11 were in Virginia. Virginia has a lower overdose death rate than most other states, but it allows anyone to buy naloxone without a prescription and has taken other steps to encourage its use.


The CDC recommends that naloxone be prescribed to patients who are getting high-dose opioids and are at risk for an overdose. It noted that only one naloxone prescription is written for every 69 high-dose opioid prescriptions.


Another finding: The number of high-dose opioid prescription painkillers dispensed fell to about 38 million last year, from nearly 49 million the year before.


That likely also contributed to the decline in overdose deaths last year, Schuchat said.


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Perrie Halpern R.A.
1  seeder  Perrie Halpern R.A.    3 weeks ago
......of the 30 counties with the highest rate of naloxone dispensing, 11 were in Virginia. Virginia has a lower overdose death rate than most other states, but it allows anyone to buy naloxone without a prescription and has taken other steps to encourage its use.

Need we say more? What do you think?

 
 
 
katrix
1.1  katrix  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @1    3 weeks ago

 I get a little tired of the same people being administered it, over and over. Then they break into our houses again. I think if the cops or EMTs have to administer it, the person should be forced into rehab for 90 days.

But ... there aren't enough beds available in the rehabs, and most addicts can't afford rehab, especially not for 90 days. Unfortunately, while making this drug more widely available is a first step, unless the rehab problem gets resolved this is often just a temporary step on the way to death.

 
 
 
XDm9mm
1.1.1  XDm9mm  replied to  katrix @1.1    3 weeks ago
this is often just a temporary step on the way to death. Then they break into our houses again.

If they break into the wrong house 'again', it won't be a camera flash they'll be smiling for.

 
 
 
katrix
1.1.2  katrix  replied to  XDm9mm @1.1.1    3 weeks ago

Well, I wasn't home when my house got burglarized. One of my acquaintances came home that same night, while my burglar's cousin was burglarizing his house - and went for his shotgun. The burglar tried to get it from him, which resulted in him being charged with attempted murder. He was dumb enough to complain to the cops that his victim tried to kill him!

I'm sick of these people robbing everyone.

 
 
 
XDm9mm
1.1.3  XDm9mm  replied to  katrix @1.1.2    3 weeks ago
while my burglar's cousin was burglarizing his house

Must be a close knit family!!  jrSmiley_78_smiley_image.gif

Fortunately, most people aren't home when their place is broken into.  The majority of people wouldn't know how to handle the situation and would very likely only get themselves hurt, or worse.

Of course, there are those that are prepared and trained, and will expend some of that preparation and training on any perpetrator.  jrSmiley_13_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
1.1.4  sandy-2021492  replied to  katrix @1.1    3 weeks ago

It seems to me that money diverted from incarceration to rehab would be helpful.  We're still locking people up for having a few ounces of marijuana in some states, and IMO, we shouldn't be.  That money would be better spent elsewhere.

 
 
 
katrix
1.1.5  katrix  replied to  XDm9mm @1.1.3    2 weeks ago
Must be a close knit family

Half of them are in jail at any given time. And according to my detective, they're all addicts. And not because of some injury where the doctor prescribed drugs and then they switched to heroin - they chose to inject that first time.

 
 
 
Kathleen
2  Kathleen    3 weeks ago

If it saves lives, it’s a good thing.

 
 
 
XDm9mm
2.1  XDm9mm  replied to  Kathleen @2    3 weeks ago
If it saves lives, it’s a good thing.

If they take advantage of the chance given them.   

However, I do need to ask;

Is it worth saving their life if they go on to killing someone else, someone you love to get the money to support their 'habit'?  Is it alright if they kill the loved one of another?

 
 
 
katrix
2.1.1  katrix  replied to  XDm9mm @2.1    3 weeks ago

Addicts usually only kill other addicts, when they shoot up together.

Generally they just commit burglaries, not murder - one county near me estimates that over 80% of their crime is committed by addicts, and we're not even one of those counties in Appalachia that are always in the news.

But I get really sick of these same people continually burglarizing people. The guy who burglarized my house - fourth felony - only spent a year and a half in jail. And now I'm sure he's robbing other people. Addiction is no excuse - being burglarized really sucks.

 
 
 
XDm9mm
2.1.2  XDm9mm  replied to  katrix @2.1.1    3 weeks ago
one county near me estimates that over 80% of their crime is committed by addicts,

So, 80% of the crime is B&E?  Or are street robberies and assaults included in that number?  And assaults can and do often times go bad.

And now I'm sure he's robbing other people.

Unfortunately, he's not breaking into the right homes.   As I indicated in my earlier post, the right house to break into will provide him a 'flash' to smile for, and permit him to be carried out in a body bag.

 
 
 
Dean Moriarty
2.1.3  Dean Moriarty  replied to  katrix @2.1.1    3 weeks ago

I'm glad we have the make my day law. If a junkie breaks into my home my plan is to take out the trash. 

 
 
 
Kathleen
2.1.4  Kathleen  replied to  XDm9mm @2.1    3 weeks ago

I don’t think all drug addicts kill people. Some may be teens experimenting and they go too far. That could be your child....

I don’t feel that I would want to just let them die..

it’s like a catch 22, you can’t be sure.

 
 
 
XDm9mm
2.1.5  XDm9mm  replied to  Kathleen @2.1.4    3 weeks ago
Some may be teens experimenting and they go too far. That could be your child....

Ergo, my statement

If they take advantage of the chance given them. 

If they fail to realize the GIFT that they have received, that's their problem.   Not mine, not yours, not anyone's but their own.   And they need to accept the consequences of their actions. 

 
 
 
Kathleen
2.1.6  Kathleen  replied to  XDm9mm @2.1.5    3 weeks ago

An addiction can be a horrible thing. I know that they have no one to blame but themselves. I realize that, and if some are willing to kill and harm others to support it, then I agree that it would be better if they do not survive. I do have some sympathy for those that are struggling with it and want to try to beat it. I was lucky and some of you may be too for not having an addiction. These are my feelings in it.

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
2.1.7  seeder  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  Kathleen @2.1.6    3 weeks ago

You're a good egg Kathleen. 

 
 
 
†hε pε⊕pレε'š ƒïšh
2.1.8  †hε pε⊕pレε'š ƒïšh  replied to  Dean Moriarty @2.1.3    3 weeks ago
I'm glad we have the make my day law. If a junkie breaks into my home my plan is to take out the trash. 

If you really want to fuck their world, just hold them at gun point and hit them with the narcan injection, they immediately go into full detox. Then call the cops, by the time the cops haul them away they are shitting themselves, vomiting and sweating miserably.

I'm all for saving lives and think the narcan is great, but if you break into a home to steal, you get what you deserve.

 
 
 
Kathleen
2.1.9  Kathleen  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @2.1.7    3 weeks ago

Thank you Perrie, it is a sickness that must be terrible to deal with. 

 
 
 
Enoch
3  Enoch    3 weeks ago

I agree with Kathleen.

Saving lives is good. 

What ever accomplished that is worth while.

P&AB.

Enoch.

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
4  seeder  Perrie Halpern R.A.    3 weeks ago

Kind of shocked at the comments on this article. 

Addiction of any type is a sickness. We should be trying to keep them alive and get them the help. We never know what family member of ours could become an addict of anything. 

And don't forget who made these addicts. Doctors and drug companies. 

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
4.1  sandy-2021492  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @4    3 weeks ago
Doctors and drug companies. 

Sometimes.  But there are some people who first got their narcotics on the street, too.

I agree that we should be helping them, and I'm glad that Narcan is available.

 
 
 
katrix
4.2  katrix  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @4    2 weeks ago

Someone who chose to shoot up - in my burglar's case, everyone in that damn family is an addict - and supports themselves and their habit by burglarizing other people needs to be punished. Have you ever been burglarized? To come home to a kicked in door and not know if the person's still in your house, if you're going to be attacked, and then to have things stolen that can never be replaced? The sense of violation and the aftereffects of fear?

I'm not against giving them Narcan but if someone is a burglar, they should go to jail. Not for the addiction, but for their felony. Their addiction is not an excuse to terrorize me.

 
 
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