Public Health Advisory on Naloxone and Opioid Overdoses
U.S. Surgeon General Issues
Public Health Advisory
on Naloxone and Opioid Overdoses
Urges more individuals to carry life-saving medication
Increasing Naloxone Awareness and Use - The Role of Health Care Practitioners
For the first time in over a decade, the U.S. Surgeon General Jerome M. Adams, MD, MPH, has issued a public health advisory in response to the alarming escalation of opioid overdose deaths across the country. Despite evidence of the effectiveness of naloxone in reducing opioid overdose deaths, awareness of the drug’s benefits and its possession and use among patients, prescribers, community bystanders, and even first responders in some areas remains limited. To fill this gap and to leverage naloxone provided in the community to deal with the ongoing national opioid emergency, the April 5, 2018, Surgeon General’s Advisory on Naloxone and Opioid Overdose explains the importance of knowing how to use and keeping within reach this potentially life-saving medication.
Recognizing the established clinical benefits of naloxone, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Opioid Overdose Prevention Toolkit lists naloxone administration as among the 5 essential steps for first responders to individuals who have opioid overdoses. Furthermore, CDC recommends that health care practitioners consider offering naloxone to patients receiving high-dose prescription opioids for chronic pain or when other factors are present such as history of overdose, history of substance use disorder, and concurrent benzodiazepine use.