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narcan cpr article

Surgeon General Urges Americans to Carry Narcan

Beginning in the 90s, heart disease became a major problem for Americans. This caused millions of Americans to voluntarily train to administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation or CPR. Each year, the American Heart Association trains more than 12 million people in this life-saving procedure.

Now it seems we are facing another public health crisis: the deadly opioid epidemic. With tens of thousands of American lives lost each year to drug overdose, it’s critical that we begin training Americans to administer Narcan (naloxone), just as we did with CPR, to help save the lives of our neighbors, family members and friends.

Issuing the first Surgeon General’s advisory in 14 years, Surgeon General Jerome Adams has urged every American to carry and be trained to administer this life-saving drug. In a recent interview with NPR, Adams said unequivocally, “We should think of naloxone like an EpiPen or CPR. Unfortunately, over half of the overdoses that are occurring are occurring in homes, so we want everyone to be armed to respond.”

While I encourage everyone to take a CPR course, performing CPR properly can be challenging for those who do not do it routinely, especially in a moment of crisis. This is why CPR recertification is so important.

In contrast, administering naloxone (Narcan) is easy even for non-medical personnel, and giving it quickly after an opioid overdose rapidly reverses respiratory depression – the primary cause of death. Narcan is safe and works in seconds. Two simple delivery methods are currently available in the U.S. – an intramuscular auto-injector (like the EpiPen), and a nasal spray. Today, 49 of 50 states have standing orders allowing anyone to buy and administer Narcan without a prescription. As the drug epidemic has grown, Narcan has saved an untold number of lives, including over 17,500 cases in New York alone last year.

For the full article, please view the source: https://medcitynews.com/2019/08/lets-make-narcan-the-cpr-of-a-new-generation/