August 20, 2015 – Naloxone and Opioids
Anchor lead: Should opioid drugs come with an antidote? Elizabeth Tracey reports
There’s an epidemic of prescription opioid overdose in this country, with some experts calling for these potent pain relievers to also come with a dose of an antidote medication called naloxone. Eric Strain, an expert in drug addictions at Johns Hopkins, says okay, but other measures must also be in place.
Strain: I’m in favor but I think it’s part of a process. My concern is that if we say well let’s give them naloxone, then that’s not sufficient. I think it should be done as part of a process where we engage that person in treatment. My concern right now is that we’re not doing that with naloxone. I would say we should be giving it to people, if we can, to save a life but I think we should be doing it and we should be saying immediately afterward okay, we’ve got to get this person into some form of intensive treatment. :28
Naloxone is easy to use and very effective, and has no so-called abuse potential, where people might be tempted to use it recreationally. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.