Delaware Approves Public Access To Overdose Antidote Naloxone

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    The opioid epidemic has affected millions of Americans across the country. While many state governments are fighting pharmaceutical companies in the courts for lack of information regarding the addictiveness of the drugs, others are looking for ways to combat the epidemic on a more personal level.

    Of the 397,430 pharmacy technicians that work in the United States, those who work in the state of Delaware will now be able to help stop Americans from overdosing on heroin and painkillers.

    Senate Bill 48, signed by Delaware governor John Carney on Thursday, July 20, will now allow state residents of Delaware to purchase naloxone from a pharmacist. Naloxone is an antidote for those suffering from a heroin overdose and has been used in many a first responder’s first-aid kit.

    Drug overdose is one of the leading causes of accidental death in the United States, thanks in large part to the opioid epidemic. According to Delaware Online, naloxone was given to 1,535 people across the state to combat drug overdose. The antidote was also used up to 866 times as of July 2017.

    “I know that naloxone is not the be all, end all — it doesn’t end the opiate/heroin epidemic,” said activist Dave Humes. “But the tool is an important tool because it lets us save someone’s life and lets them seek treatment.” Humes is a long-time advocate with the group atTAck Addiction, a grassroots addiction advocacy group.

    Everyday Delawareans can obtain naloxone to keep in their homes in case of emergencies. However, they must first attend community training sessions such as those offered by Brandywine Counseling. According to Delaware Online, the courses are offered 12 times throughout the year. And, if a resident wishes to have the medication on hand but are unable to attend a meeting, they can schedule an individual training session.

    Naloxone has been made available to the general public in at least 40 other states. Health officials are urging residents to use the medication should the need for it arise as six more deaths from drug overdose have occurred as of July 24.

    “Sometimes,” said Col. Vaughn Bond of the New Castle County Police Department, “a matter of seconds can mean the difference between life and death.”