Thursday, 8 May 2008


In todays world drugs are everywhere. Speaking as a healthcare professional I know people will always take drugs. Many heroin users every day accidentally overdose. Theres no medically recommended dose for heroin as its use is frowned upon.

There is a drug available that halts the deterioration of a patients state when he has taken an overdose. This drug is called Naloxone and is administered in hospitals for accidental morphine(essentially heroin) overdoses. I would argue that chemists should provide this drug over the counter. We cant stop people taking heroin but maybe if we make this opiate-antagonist more freely available we can stop people dying from heroin use.

One argument against this is that if users know they can reverse any accidental overdose they might be more inclined to take more heroin, or even deliberately overdose just so they could reverse it and have the full 'trip' effect.

I dont agree with the use of drugs, but I am sick of seeing people kill themselves when it can be prevented.

1 comment:

prnpenguin said...

Providing narcan as an OTC med, doesn't strike me as a terribly good idea.

For starters, naloxone needs to be given IV (or IM or subcut in a pinch). It's not a tablet that can easily be taken with a glass of water. It's route of administration requires training which would preclude it from being an OTC med.

People that are going to require narcan aren't going to be in any position to be giving it to themselves. Reduced LOC and airway compromise +/- aspiration are issues that need to be dealt with by someone who knows what they are doing - ie not the overdosee or their mates (who may or may not be similarly affected). I would argue that giving untrained and potentially drug-affected individuals the option of administering narcan could potentially kill more people, by delaying access to emergency medical care.

If your mate has ODed - calling an ambulance is a far better and safer option than buggerising around trying to fix your mate by admiistering a medication for which you lack the training and expertise to administer.

A person in such a state needs proper medical care.

All in all, I would respectfully disagree with the idea of providing naloxone as an OTC med.