Over the past few years, an average of 44,000 citizens have died from drug overdoses, most of which were Heroin. Heroin contains opioids, which are substances that react with receptors.These receptors will then eventually cause the body to produce Morphine-like effects. Too many opioids in the body will cause harm or potentially death. This is called drug overdose. Narcan and Naloxone are anti-drugs that reverse the opioids from producing. If you stop this process, the overdose will stop. These anti-drugs are currently sold only as a prescription or administered by police/ambulances. Many believe that by selling it over the counter, we could save more lives. Should anti-drugs like Narcan and Naloxone be sold over the counter?
If you had a prescription for one of these anti-drugs, the process would be very confusing. You would have to first go to a doctor and have them approve of giving the anti-drug to you. You would also have to discuss how often the prescription would be refilled. Other things you would need to discuss are the price, how much comes in one prescription, and which anti drug you wish to go on. If you were able to walk into a store and purchase the item of your desire, so much time would be saved. It’s hard enough to remember to take your medicine, let alone refills and payment plans.
Many drug abusers would like to be safe and have a backup plan, but find it hard to get their hands on an antidote. Since Narcan and Naloxone are only retailed as prescription drugs, they must be prescribed by a doctor. The problem with that is users feel uncomfortable and uneasy about asking their doctor to give them an anti-drug, since they would be known as a substance abuser. This makes it very difficult to get the anti-drug, so some just decide to completely pass up on the chance. This is very unsafe and actually dangerous. If Narcan or Naloxone were to be sold over the counter, users would be able to accomplish the goal without the hassle.
Some believe that by allowing users to obtain an anti-drug, they are being given a get-out-of-jail-free card. By obtaining Narcan or Naloxone, they would feel as if they could just abuse whatever they would like, and never learn how much danger they are at. On the contrary, when giving a user the opportunity to reverse death, it could be seen as a wake-up call. The user could realize that they almost died and that they should be more responsible and safe. Also, users could be proposed a path to recovery with rehab plans and programs when they purchase an anti-drug.
Since the Food and Drug Administration has yet to approve of these drugs as safe, many believe they are hazardous. Narcan and Naloxone have saved lives, and still have potential to save many more. They do not have any toxic or addictive components. If you take one of these anti-drugs and you are not high on opioids, nothing will happen. You will not become high in any way by taking it. The only way that Narcan or Naloxone will have any effect on you is if you were overdosing on Heroin, Codeine, Oxycontin, or any other type of opioid enhancer. There also are no side-effects of taking Narcan or Naloxone. The only process that will occur is undoing the overdose. Narcan and Naloxone are safe and reliable.
Others believe it is unfair to just assume that someone is going to be irresponsible and overdose. That may be true, but Narcan and Naloxone are preventative. They are always a plan B. These anti-drugs must be administered quickly in order to be effective, so by having it before the incident occurs, the more likely it is to work properly. Even if the user does not want to carry around an antidote, family members or friends with them can. It does not matter who gives the antidote rather than how quick a person gets it.
The bottom line is that people are dying. It is inhumane to sit back and allow this to happen--especially when there is something we can do! There is a study that shows in just one year, the overdose rate declined by 27,000 people. When this happened, the anti-drugs were being sold only by prescription. If it is easier to access these medicines, that rate could double! These antidotes have a 100% success rate when being used properly, and the best part is that there are no catches or side-effects. Even if drug abusers don’t want to take the antidote, it does not hurt to have. If America’s priority is to ensure its citizens’ safety and health, why does the process have to be so long and difficult when you can have the same outcome just with simpler steps?
A poem about family strength.
Another poem about saying goodbye.