overdose death Archives -
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President Trump Talks About Giving Drug Dealers the Death Penalty

President Trump Talks About Giving Drug Dealers the Death Penalty

One of the consistent topics in politics now is how the current administration plans to tackle issues concerning drug policy. There’s plenty of recent news, such as the Attorney General announcing a plan for the Justice Department to support states suing Big Pharma opioid makers, while also claiming that marijuana is partly responsible for the opioid crisis. Reports have indicated China is willing to work with the US to fight fentanyl trafficking, but critics are still worried about the massive cuts President Trump proposed for the Office of National Drug Control Policy.

But that isn’t the only proposal made by President Trump that has inspired debates about drug policy.

This past Thursday, while speaking at the White House event on opioid issues, many believe that a few of Trump’s comments endorse the idea of executing people who sell illegal drugs. Shocking as it may seem to some people, the concept isn’t all that new. In fact, we see people all the time in the comment section of many articles on opioids who seem to think this is an acceptable idea.

We have asked the question before if drug dealing should be considered homicide, with mixed responses. However, now it seems we should be asking- is drug dealing punishable by death?

President Trump Admiring the Philippines

If we take a look back, President Trump has supported this strategy before. Just last year the leaked transcript of a phone call with President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines quoted Trump praising the nation’s bloody and brutal War on Drugs. In recent years, thousands of extrajudicial killings have taken place in a country fully immersed in a violent vendetta against drugs. The president was quoted saying:

“I just wanted to congratulate you because I am hearing of the unbelievable job on the drug problem. Many countries have the problem, we have a problem, but what a great job you are doing and I just wanted to call and tell you that.”

However, not everyone shares the president’s admiration. An inquiry by the International Criminal Court is actually investigating the killings of the Philippines drug war. Not to mention, others would argue that the brutal crackdowns in the Philippines haven’t exactly worked out either. In December, the head of the country’s drug enforcement agency publicly stated that they have been unable to stop dealing at the street level.

President Trump on Drug Dealers

This isn’t the only reported instance of the president supporting this extreme tactic. Just days before his Thursday remarks there was a story that Trump had privately told a number of people, including leaders in Congress, that he supports executing drug dealers.

So what did President Trump say at the White House Thursday? In general, he thinks sellers of illegal drugs don’t get punished severely enough in the US, stating:

“We have pushers and we have drug dealers that kill hundreds and hundreds of people and most of them don’t even go to jail,”

“If you shoot one person, they give you life, they give you the death penalty. These people [who sell drugs] can kill 2,000, 3,000 people and nothing happens to them.”

Even back in January, President Trump made comments that some think was a precursor to this conversation. In another report, the president suggested he had an idea for a change in drug policy that might be too dramatic for the country.

“No matter what you do, this is something that keeps pouring in. And we’re going to find the answer. There is an answer. I think I actually know the answer, but I’m not sure the country’s ready for it yet. Does anybody know what I mean? I think so.”

There is not yet any indication the president has committed to go this far. And yet, he has repeatedly vowed to be “much tougher on drug dealers and pushers.”

President Trump also said that his administration will be rolling out policy over the next three weeks, promising it will be “very, very strong.” This administration is definitely consistent with its focus on stricter enforcement and tough-on-crime tactics for the drug problem. So is this recent stir surrounding the president’s comments well-founded? Or is the president’s support for dealing with drug dealers with the death penalty just an opinion of his that won’t go into any actual policy plans?

Should Drug Dealers be Executed?

Surely, we will see plenty of arguments in the comments here. There are bound to be some very strong opinions. Some people do believe that drug dealers are the cause of countless deaths and that they should face the harshest punishments possible.

One person might say ‘an eye for an eye… trade one lethal injection for another.’ But we still need to ask ourselves if this is actually effective.

Many would argue that a lot of street-level dealers are addicts themselves, who peddle their own prescription medications or other illegal substances out of desperation. They might still be people suffering from an illness that leads them to do things they might not otherwise do.

You might say- well, then we should only execute people who provide drugs that lead to a death. But there are plenty of cases where this strict of a penalty seems extremely cruel and unusual. And there are already instances where the individual providing drugs to someone who overdosed has been charged with manslaughter. Some were even charged with second-degree murder. For example, there was the case of Joshua Lore. Lore had gotten himself high on heroin and then prepared and administered a dose for his friend, 23-year-old Kody Woods. After Woods died from the overdose, Lore was charged with second-degree murder. The coroner ruled the death accidental. However, the law still allowed for him to be charged as if he had intentionally shot his friend down in the street.

Would anyone argue that maybe he should face the death penalty because maybe his friend paid him for the drugs? What if?

Criminal Charges for Overdoses

In 1986, Boston Celtics draft pick Len Bias’s death was deemed cocaine-relate. The federal government then implemented stiff penalties on drug dealers whose sales can be directly tied to overdoses. This includes a minimum of 20 years, and up to life in prison. But there is the still scrutiny to prove the allegations against dealers. Back in 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a drug can’t just have contributed to death. It needs to actually be proven as the cause of death.

So where do we draw the line there? Because in some cases an individual may not die directly due to an overdose, but because the drug causes a reaction in the body with a pre-existing condition or counteracts other drugs it turns deadly. What if someone buys drugs from multiple dealers in one day, then dies? Does each dealer get put to death just in case?

Let us say we are only going to consider the death penalty with king-pins and large-scale traffickers. Kellyanne Conway, who is the head of the White House’s anti-drug effort, supposedly told Axios the proposal from President Trump is more nuanced and would only apply to “high-volume dealers who are killing thousands of people.” Fair enough. But how do we measure that exactly? Will it depend on the drug? Are we going to have someone with marijuana farms being executed next to fentanyl traffickers, even though the substance they sell is considered legal in several states?

It all becomes a much deeper conversation about where the mindset of our world is right now. These days it seems our society has continued to embrace the idea of choosing the lesser evil. And we can argue all day about whether or not people think this is ‘right’… but would it even work?

Lesser Evil

Sadly, even if President Trump were to make the necessary distinctions, there are still going to be people who think all drug dealers should face death. But is trying to fight drugs by making an example out of dealers a practical solution?  If people say drug use is still a voluntary act, should selling drugs constitute the death penalty if drugs aren’t forced into the victim’s body? And if we say yes, many also want to know if the president will support holding Big Pharma executives who engaged in corruption and shady marketing to the same standard.

Sure, maybe killing some drug dealers might scare a few others, but it won’t scare them all. If a dealer is taken off the streets, odds are another will take their place. Experts are sometimes split on whether attacking addiction at the supply-side has not been an effective strategy. Some say it makes drugs harder to get and more expensive. However, others say the open market inspires more dealers to take advantage of scarcity with higher prices. Studies even suggest there is no hard evidence that harsher penalties or supply elimination reduces drug use.

The tragic truth is there are already people who think we shouldn’t even be doing so much to save the lives of addicts. They say those who overdose should be left to die.

Is that who we are now? We see the people in our communities in pain and we leave them to die?

President Trump seems to believe a less punitive approach won’t work. So do the people agree? Should we have more compassion or convictions? If we stopped trying to arrest and punish our way out of the opioid crisis, could we be making more lives better?

Should we really be relying on the lesser evil?

The pain of losing a loved one to addiction is undeniable, and the desire for justice is understandable and natural. Even though we see addiction as a disease, we have to know we take our lives into our own hands every time. Sadly, sometimes we don’t make it back. But if you do, take it as an opportunity to make a change. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free now.

 CALL NOW 1-888-922-5398

First American Safe Injection Sites May Cause State VS Federal Conflict  

First American Safe Injection Sites May Cause State VS Federal Conflict  

Right now a few American cities are aiming to establish active safe injection sites, with most recent reports indicating the first will probably be San Francisco. Currently, the Golden Gate City is on track to open two of these facilities in July. Meanwhile, Philadelphia is not far behind as city officials are pushing forward with a proposition from January. Other areas fighting for the controversial programs include Seattle and Baltimore.

Now it seems this fight for safe injection sites may soon pit state governments against the federal government, as the DEA under the Trump administration vows to take action against these facilities.

Safe Injection Sites for San Francisco

The city of San Francisco has an estimated 22,000 intravenous drug users. As of now, it has become the norm to see people injecting drugs in broad daylight on a park bench, public transit, or any sidewalk. As a consequence, dirty needles get left out in the open. So the decision by San Francisco officials to establish safe injection sites isn’t all that alarming.

Safe injection sites mean fewer needles on the streets. Reports from public health officials expect that 85% of the intravenous drug users in the city would use these sites, and the city could potentially save $3.5 million a year in medical costs. According to the director of San Francisco’s Department of Public Health, Barbara Garcia, officials are already working out the details. Garcia is currently working with six to eight nonprofits that already provide needle exchange programs and other addiction services. Two of them will soon be operating as safe injection sites.

Garcia says that because the cities fiscal year will begin on July 1, the process of opening these safe injection sites should begin close to that date. She also adds that once officials are able to examine how the first two sites are working, they can decide if and when to open the third and fourth sites.

Because intravenous drug use is still against state and federal law, the city will be avoiding liability by funding these sites through private investments. Garcia did not include where the money would be coming from. Garcia also does not appear to be too concerned about whether opening safe injection sites will draw the ire of the Trump administration, saying,

“That’s to be seen. I’m more worried about people dying in our streets.”

Given the rates of intravenous drug use and overdose death in the area, that sounds like a reasonable reason to worry. Part of operating safe injection sites also means providing a supervising medical staff equipped with overdose antidotes, and offering addiction treatment resources to those willing to seek help.

Hope for Harm Reduction

State Senator Scott Wiener is also working to get state law changed to ensure that anybody associated with safe injection sites won’t face arrest or punishment, including:

  • Property owners
  • Employees
  • Drug users themselves

The bill Wiener is pushing was last year passed in the Assembly, but remains two votes short of confirmation in the Senate.

Part of the reason for so many officials pushing to protect and advance this project seems to come from a fair amount of public support. For the first time, the Chamber of Commerce’s Dignity Health CityBeat Poll included a question about safe injection sites this year. It asked respondents whether they support or oppose-

“drop-in facilities called safe injection sites where intravenous drug users could use their drugs, off the street, and in a place where medical and social services are available.”

Out of all those who answered the survey:

  • 67% of respondents said they support the idea
  • 45% of those were ‘strongly’ supportive
  • 22% of those were ‘somewhat’ supportive
  • Only 27% percent opposed it
  • 6% didn’t know

The poll found support for the sites regardless of:

  • Age
  • Homeownership

The demographics also includes support from:

  • Progressives
  • Liberals
  • Moderates
  • Even 42% of self-described Conservatives

Mayor Mark Farrell is another supporter who said,

“I understand the misgivings around it and some of the rhetoric from people who don’t support it, but we absolutely need to give it a try.”

While issues like homelessness, crime and gang violence were all concerns consistent with opening of injection sites, city officials seem to believe the old way isn’t working. The hope is that by providing social services and treatment options, these safe injection sites will not only save lives but help more people get off drugs that otherwise might not have access to these resources.

Trump Says Sites Will Face Legal Action

It still seems these efforts will be met with resistence from the federal government. Last week the Trump administration made it clear they reject any facilities where heroin users can inject drugs under supervision. The president and his Attorney General Jeff Sessions seem to be committed to their ‘law and order’ approach to the drug problem, despite any lessons learned by the failed War on Drugs.

One might note that in general, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency views safe-injection sites as facilitation of criminal behavior. Therefore, it’s an absolute possibility the DEA will take some kind of enforcement action against any safe injection sites that pop up in the states. Katherine Pfaff, a DEA spokesperson, argued that these programs remain federally prohibited. She states,

“Supervised injection facilities, or so-called safe injection sites, violate federal law. Any facilitation of illicit drug use is considered in violation of the Controlled Substances Act and, therefore, subject to legal action.”

However, it appears some of the states that have approved safe injection sites are already preparing to do legal battle with Attorney General Jeff Sessions and his Justice Department to convince the courts that this public health emergency is far too critical to pass up any opportunity at harm reduction.

So, what is going to become of this new controversy? More people, including law enforcement officials and conservatives, could be warming up to the idea of cleaning up the streets with safe injection sites in some states. If the DEA make moves to shut them down, what will happen next? Are safe injection sites an acceptable form of harm reduction? If not, what else could help address the opioid crisis?

Let us know in the comments what you think about these programs.

Palm Healthcare Company believes in providing an effective, holistic treatment program to help those suffering who need help. Providing safe and comprehensive care should always be a focus in the effort to overcome the drug problem, and preservation of life should always be a priority. If you or someone you love is struggling, please call toll-free now.

  CALL NOW 1-888-922-5398

Suicide VS Overdose: Study Claims Opioid Deaths Are Misclassified

Suicide VS Overdose: Study Claims Opioid Deaths Are Misclassified

Over the last 15 years, the suicide rate has climbed by an estimated 32%. While the overdose deaths in relation to the opioid crisis have become a constant issue around the country, some researchers suggest that the real suicide rates are even higher, but some of them are being misclassified as overdoses.

So, are more people dying due to drug abuse, or are more people taking their own lives using powerful street drugs and prescription narcotics?

Studying Suicide and Drugs

The idea that many of the deaths recorded as opioid overdoses may have been suicides, according to the researchers, is due to a significant gap between suicide rates and intoxication mortality rates.

A study from the Luskin School of Public Affairs at the University of California, Los Angeles, was published in the journal PLOS One. This study states that both suicide and drug intoxication death rates in the United States have risen over a period of 15 years. Researchers compiled data from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to show:

  • 2000- The suicide rate was 10.40 per 100,000 people
  • 2015- Suicide rate rose to 13.75 deaths per 100,000 people
  • 2000- Drug intoxication mortality rate for those over the age of 15 was 7.81 deaths per 100,000
  • 2015- Drug intoxication death rate for those over the age of 15 rose to 20.07 per 100,000 in 2015

This means that the drug intoxication death rate rose by 257% in those 15 years, while suicide rates only rose by 32%. While 32% is still a devastating number when it comes to such a tragic circumstance, there is still a huge difference between 32% and 257%. These researchers believe this major difference in the reports of mortality rates suggests a lack of suicide reporting.

Difficulties in Death Investigation

One of the big problems, according to the study’s author Mark Kaplan, is resources. Kaplan is a professor of social welfare at UCLA, and he stated to local news sources,

“Unfortunately, part of the problem is due to serious under-resourcing of state and local death investigation systems throughout most of the U.S.

“Many of these deaths were probably suicides, yet reported as accidental self-poisoning rather than intentional self-harm, particularly among the middle-aged.”

The study by Kaplan and his colleagues further explains that when it comes to suicide by overdose, things like an individual’s psychiatric history or the presence of a suicide note are crucial to helping professionals identify a death as a suicide.

“A suicide note, prior suicide attempt or affective disorder was documented in less than one-third of suicides and one-quarter of undetermined deaths,”

“Our incorporation of undetermined deaths, as well as registered suicides, not only provided a window on the nature of suicide misclassification within the undetermined death category but within the accident category—as a much larger reservoir for obscuring drug intoxication suicides.”

So by acknowledging that there is not always an obvious indication that a death is a suicide, even in cases that are classified in suicide, the researchers believe that many deaths that involved drugs have most likely been categorized as overdoses instead of making a deeper inquiry into the circumstances surrounding an individual’s death.

Opioids Causing Ambiguity

With the opioid crisis in America, it has become even more difficult to measure the suicide rates. And that isn’t just this research teams opinion either.

In 2015, the CDC hosted a meeting to address the challenges presented for medical examiners and coroners across the country. The primary focus was concerning cases of fatal intoxication due to opioids and other drugs. The summary of this meeting concluded that drug intoxication deaths may be among the most difficult to determine regarding the manner of death. The summary notes that reasons for such difficulty in having a more accurate manner of death include:

  • Potentially equivocal evidence
  • Intent to die
  • Overlapping demographic groups affected
  • Overlapping premorbid risk factors (e.g., substance abuse, mental health problems).

Opioid addiction, much like any other form of substance use disorder, is often closely connected to other issues, including anxiety, trauma and mental health disorders. Some individuals living with mental health conditions who abuse opioids may be self-medicating and accidentally overdose. But others may be suffering so severely, with conditions like depressive disorders or bipolar disorder, that they ultimately take their own lives intentionally with the powerful drugs. With opioid abuse being so widespread and devastating, the line between the two has begun to blur.

Both studies mentioned clearly indicate in order to truly comprehend an accurate number of suicides by overdose, more research is needed. Both also admit that the number may never be exact.

Even though we will probably never have a definitive answer, the question is still important to ask. By knowing whether opioid deaths are caused by accidents or intentional we can develop better strategies to provide education and prevention.

This is also why mental health should always be a priority when it comes to addiction treatment.

Substance use disorder and suicide are both connected to mental health and personal wellness. Too often they both lead to avoidable tragedies. Therefore, mental health and wellness should be a priority for addiction treatment. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free now.

 CALL NOW 1-888-922-5398

Will China Help the US Fight the Fentanyl Outbreak in America?

Will China Help the U.S. Fight the Fentanyl Outbreak in America?

Every day the opioid epidemic continues to create more suffering and struggle across the country. In every state there are people scrambling for a way out, with politicians and citizens staggering to keep up with growing death rates and the damage to their communities. With America fighting desperately to get ahead of the outbreak officials are looking to China, where most of the illicit synthetic opioids are coming from, for some help putting an end to the flow of the fentanyl outbreak.

The American Fentanyl Outbreak

Subsequently, the continual rise of illicit and lethal fentanyl being blended into the underground market of opioids has instigated higher than ever death tolls. Government officials found themselves in increasingly desperate times last summer when the DEA warned the public that counterfeit pill pressers were distributing the potent fentanyl drug disguised as prescription painkillers. This cost countless users unaware of the drugs presence or its danger their lives, and continues to do so today.

At the time, the agency said that fentanyl disguised as prescription pills has become a consistent trend, not a series of isolated incidents or freak accidents.

Drug dealers could reportedly make millions from selling pills. But many decided they could easily boost their profits by making pills at home. All they would need were:

  • Pill press
  • Dyes
  • Stamps
  • Binding agents

With enterprising ingenuity drug dealers could easily make fentanyl resemble other less potent and more popular drugs of abuse, such as the prescription opioid oxycodone or even anti-anxiety pills.

Once this drug became a go-to ingredient for dealers to cut their product, be it heroin or prescription pills, the fentanyl outbreak spread like wildfire. There is no telling as of now how many overdoses alone have been caused by fentanyl, not to mention how many deaths.

China Market for Synthetic Opioids

China has been singled out as the main source of synthetic drugs like fentanyl. Through the internet drug dealers can purchase fentanyl from websites hosted in China and have shipments sent to the United States, making the same package handlers that deliver your mail in the morning secret drug traffickers.

According to data from US Customs and Border Protection (CBP), seizures of fentanyl arriving by mail have increased drastically:

  • In 2011, 0.09 kilograms of fentanyl were seized by mail
  • In 2016 is rose to 37 kilograms

America definitely knows what kind of damage the dark web drug trade can do. We have seen it right here with Dread Pirate Robets and the Silk Road story. Having to try and disrupt the flow of drugs coming from another country puts officials in a tough spot.

China and U.S. Team Up

Officials in the US are bracing for the threat of what they call the “next wave” of the opioid crisis. Experts looking at the current trend believe with conviction that things will inevitably get worse before they get better. However, not everyone is as concerned about the future of the fentanyl outbreak.

Team U.S.A.

Enter Tom Price, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, who insists he is optimistic about the China’s efforts to team up with the United States in the fight against the fentanyl outbreak.

Price knows that both the U.S. and China are struggling to keep up with what he calls the-

“- rapidly changing ability of individuals to formulate new chemical makeups that are a different drug and that aren’t in the controlled arena.”

Regarding synthetic drugs this is the same hurdle law enforcement and government officials have come up against for years. Manufacturers continually rename products and slightly alter the chemical make-up in order to slip through loop-holes of legality.

For example, the drug U-47700 (also known as “Pink”) is designed to mimic the effects of controlled substances. However, these counterfeit chemists twist the chemical structure of the compound. This makes it more possible for illegal drug makers to skirt drug laws and drug tests.

The same thing has happened over and over with synthetic marijuana products in America, like K2 and Spice.

Fentanyl has become more relevant than ever.

  • In June the DEA reported a seizure of 44.14 kilograms (which comes out to 14 million doses) of fentanyl in San Diego County, California
  • Weeks ago Arizona law enforcement seized 30,000 fentanyl pills that were made to look like oxycodone

Team China

Chinese officials have also stated that facing the fentanyl outbreak they have dealt with many difficulties. This past June, Yu Haibin of China’s narcotics control agency stated:

“My feeling is that it’s just like a race and I will never catch up with the criminals,”

Shortly afterwards on the 1st of July, China implemented a ban on four synthetic opioids, including:

  • U-47700
  • MT-45
  • PMMA
  • 4,4’-DMAR

The head of the US Department of Health and Human Services stated,

“When a particular drug is identified as being a problem, China has been an incredible partner in helping to stop the production of drugs like fentanyl in China,”

Price says he is also confident that China will play an important part in fighting the rise of carfentanil, a drug so potent it is used as an elephant tranquilizer.

Both nations have found it hard to keep up with everything the illicit drug makers are up to. If anything they can agree it is a very real problem and it must be taken seriously. While the opioid epidemic in America has yet to show any sign of slowing down, some officials are optimistic that at the very least we may soon see some decline in the more deadly elements that have been slipped into the market.

The bad batches drug users run the risk of getting has increased exponentially over time. Plenty have already died as a result. Thankfully, the crisis has brought together communities, political rivals and even foreign countries to fight the spreading threat together. Beyond prevention, a vital part of fighting this fight is effective and long lasting recovery. If you or someone you love is struggling, please call toll-free now.

 CALL NOW 1-888-922-5398

How to Use Narcan to Stop Opioid Overdose

How to Use Narcan to Stop Opioid Overdose

Narcan is a brand name for the opioid overdose antidote Naloxone hydrochloride. Technically speaking, the opioid antagonist is a synthetic congener of Oxymorphone that is structurally different in that the methyl group on the nitrogen atom is replaced by an allyl group. In the past couple years Narcan has gradually become a household name. With the opioid epidemic in America continuing to ravage many communities across the nation, Narcan has become one of the first lines of defense. For some people, while they know now what this powerful substance is, they are still unsure how to use Narcan to stop an opioid overdose.

NOTE: All instructions in this article come from the Harm Reduction Coalition website. You can also look for Narcan/Naloxone training in your area. Different brands may provide more specific instructions. Be sure to real labels and warnings on Narcan or Naloxone kits. 

How to Use Narcan: More about Narcan

Narcan works by blocking the effects of opioids and can actually reverse an overdose in order to get medical attention to someone who is in need. The life-saving opiate antidote is used for the complete or partial reversal of opioid depression, including respiratory depression. An opioid overdose can cause breathing to slow down or stop completely, putting someone’s life in immediate danger. Some examples of opioid overdoses Narcan may be used to reverse include the drugs:

  • Heroin
  • Morphine
  • Codeine
  • Oxycodone
  • Methadone
  • Vicodin

One major plus is that Narcan has no euphoric effects and cannot get someone “high” so abuse is not an issue. The overdose antidote is essentially harmless if there are no opiods present in someone’s system. If given to a person who has not taken opioids, there will be no effect. Narcan can still be effective when alcohol or other drugs are present with opiates. However, some of the incredibly potent synthetic drugs such as Fentanyl and carfentanil have shown to be somewhat resistant to Narcan treatment, meaning those overdosing due to carfentanil require extra doses to be stabilized.

Administration to opioid-dependent individuals may cause symptoms of opioid withdrawal, including:

  • Restlessness
  • Agitation
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fast heart rate
  • Sweating

There are other measures that can be taken to help ease these symptoms as well.

How to Use Narcan: Intravenous Infusion

The most rapid onset of action is achieved by intravenous administration, which is recommended in emergency situations. Narcan may be diluted for intravenous infusion in either:

  • Normal saline
  • 5% dextrose solutions

2 mg of Narcan mixed in 500 mL of either solution provides a concentration of 0.004 mg/mL. Narcan should not be mixed with preparations containing:

  • Bisulfite
  • Metabisulfite
  • Long-chain or high molecular weight anions
  • Any solution having an alkaline pH

No drug or chemical agent should be added to the mixture unless its effect on the chemical and physical stability of the solution has first been established. To use the injectable Narcan:

  • If the person is not breathing perform rescue breathing for a few quick breaths.
  • Use a long needle (called an IM or intramuscular needle) which about 1 – 1 ½ inch. NOTE: If there isn’t a big needle, a smaller needle is OK and inject under the skin, but big needles are better.
  • Remove the pop off orange top from the vial
  • Draw up 1cc (1cc=1mL=100u) of antidote into the syringe
  • Inject into a muscle, the best being thighs, upper, outer quadrant of the butt, or shoulder. NOTE: Inject straight in to make sure to hit the muscle.
  • After injection, continue rescue breathing 2-3 minutes.
  • If there is no change in 2-3 minutes, administer another dose and continue to breathe for them.

NOTE: If the second dose of naloxone does not revive them, something else may be wrong—  either it has been too long and the heart has already stopped, there are no opioids in their system, or the opioids are unusually strong and require more naloxone (such as Fentanyl or carfentanil).

For more information, you should be able to find instructions in the Narcan kit, or inquire when picking up a Narcan kit about any opportunities to receive more in-depth training.

How to Use Narcan: Nasal Spray

Another resource that has helped make huge progress in fighting opioid overdose death rates is the Narcan (or Naloxone) nasal spray kit. The variation has made training people to administer the overdose antidote much easier and much less dangerous. Without needles, the nasal spray system helps eliminate the issue of blood contamination.

According to instructions posted through the Harm Reduction Coalition, there are about 5 steps for how to use Narcan with nasal spray.

  1. If the individual is not breathing perform rescue breathing for a few quick breaths.
  2. Attach the nasal atomizer (applicator) to the needleless syringe and assemble the glass cartridge of naloxone.
  3. Tilt the head back and spray half of the naloxone up one side of the nose (1cc) and half up the other side of the nose (1cc).
  4. If there is no breathing or breathing continues to be shallow, continue to perform rescue breathing for them while waiting for the naloxone to take effect.
  5. If after about 3 to 5 minutes there is no change, administer another dose of naloxone and continue to breathe for them.

NOTE: If the second dose of naloxone does not revive them, something else is wrong—either it has been too long and the heart has already stopped, there are no opioids in their system, or the opioids are unusually strong and require more naloxone (such as Fentanyl or carfentanil).

Regardless of if you use an intravenous Narcan kit or a nasal spray kit, Narcan should never be used as substitute for emergency medical care. In the event of an opioid overdose one should always call 911 right away, even if the individual wakes up. Narcan can wear off between 30-90 minutes, while the effects of the opioids can last much longer. It is possible that after Narcan wears off the overdose can return.

Also look into Narcan training programs in your area.

How to Use Narcan: Get More Help

When someone has to be revived from an opioid overdose it can be a pretty clear cut indication that something needs to be done in order to help them stay safe.

Another difficult aspect of how to use Narcan is that naloxone can cause uncomfortable opioid withdrawals. Because Narcan blocks the action of opioids in the brain, people can wake up feeling withdrawals practically immediately and try to use again. Of course this could result in another overdose.

Beyond administering Narcan to save someone’s life, take this as an opportunity to seek resources and start a conversation about getting them the help they need. Preserving life is important, but saving a life by changing a life can make a world of difference. There are empowering and innovative addiction treatment programs that specialize in addressing this chronic, progressive and fatal substance use disorder. After surviving an overdose presenting someone with the opportunity to get treatment may be the best chance they get.

Holistic addiction treatment allows people who were once hopeless build the foundation of hope again. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call Palm Healthcare Company. We want to help.

CALL NOW 1-888-922-5398

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