The Heroin Antidote? How Naloxone Can Help and Hurt Addicts

July 9, 2014 2:53 PM

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The Heroin Antidote? How Naloxone Can Help and Hurt Addicts

February 2, 2014 was the day the nation started taking heroin seriously again, the day people learned about the darkness that comes with drug addiction, it was the day we lost an incredible actor Philip Seymour Hoffman. Hoffman's death ignited a media frenzy and opened the door for the public to see the heroin epidemic that as treatment providers, we've been seeing for the last decade. Something that has come out of the increased awareness of heroin addiction is a newfound interest with the controversial drug naloxone (also known under the brand name, Narcan) that can reverse the side effects and overdoses of opioids. It is a right move that more states are giving police and first responders' access to this drug, but it is one that comes with a lot of controversy.

Let's start from the beginning. From where does the surge in heroin come? Part of the reason why there is an increased demand for heroin stems from the rise of prescription drug abuse, particularly prescription opiates (Vicodin, Oxycontin, etc.). According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Se...

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