California is now following the footsteps of Colorado and other states that allows the use of naloxone or Narcan, an FDA approved, non-addictive drug that prevents heroin overdose.
California Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 635 into law, which took effect on January 1st of this year permitting the use of naloxone by non-medical professionals across the state. Just this week, Gil Kerlikowske the White House Director of National Drug Control Policy highlighted the effectiveness of naloxone as one of many attempts to limit the rise of heroin abuse and overdose in the US. Currently, more than 100 overdose deaths occur from heroin abuse in the US each day. The death of Philip Seymour Hoffman last week was one of an estimated 700 that occurred that week.
Naloxone works by preventing both heroin and addictive opiate pills like OxyContin and percocet from binding to receptors that are responsible for recessing breathing. Heroin overdose deaths occur when breathing has slowed down until it has stopped entirely. By injecting patients with naloxone, emergency rooms and emergency workers have reversed an estimated 10,000 overdoses.
Colorado, and now California, have permitted access to naloxone by those most likely to need it where it can prevent overdoses – such as drug users, addiction counselors and family members of addicts. They are allowed to administer the drug without any criminal or civil liability. Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper signed Colorado’s version of the bill – Senate Bill 14 – into law in May 2013.
Naloxone essentially puts out the fire for those in active addiction on the brink of an overdose. Harmony Foundation’s drug detox and drug rehab program helps heroin and prescription pill addicts extinguish their active addiction in general, so that they no longer live in fear of overdose. If you or a loved one is at risk of an overdose, our Colorado addiction treatment program can help lay the foundation of recovery and abstinence – lowering the risk of overdose or the need for naloxone.