The surgeon general in a rare public health advisory is calling on more Americans to carry a potentially life-saving medication that can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose.
Jerome Adams said it is particularly important for friends and family of those at risk of an opioid overdose to have naloxone on hand as the nation’s opioid crisis shows no signs of slowing down.
Adams said increasing the availability of naloxone and expanding treatment services are key to helping manage opioid addiction and overdoses, which are killing more people per year than traffic accidents.
“Each day we lose 115 Americans to an opioid overdose – that’s one person every 12.5 minutes,” Adams said in a statement.
“It is time to make sure more people have access to this lifesaving medication, because 77 percent of opioid overdose deaths occur outside of a medical setting and more than half occur at home.”
Many first responders carry naloxone, which comes in the form of an injection or a nasal mist. All states have passed laws aimed at increasing the drug’s availability, according to a surgeon general’s news release, and in most states, it can be requested at a pharmacy without a prescription.