January 9, 2019 – Naloxone and Opioids


Anchor lead: Should the antidote to opioids be prescribed along with the pain medicines? Elizabeth Tracey reports

Naloxone, the drug used to reverse opioid overdoses, should be prescribed along with the powerful pain relievers, many advocacy groups believe. Eric Strain, a drug abuse expert at Johns Hopkins, says such a strategy could be yet one more way to slow overdose deaths.

Strain: The idea is how do we get naloxone out and further disseminated into the community so that if there’s a chance that somebody is found who’s overdosed on opioids they can quickly get naloxone. I think I’m in favor of it if it’s done in the right context. That there’s a discussion about it, there’s a discussion about the risks of opioids, and there be clear messages about the fact that once a person has been reversed off an opioid with naloxone they should be referred to treatment. :29

Strain notes that administering naloxone may require injecting the drug or is sometimes available as a nasal spray, and says that instructions are included with the prescription so that it can be used in an emergency situation. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.