There is no question that opioid abuse and overdose continues to be a rising public health problem. The consequences are far reaching in the areas of defense litigation, pharmaceutical liability, family law, medical malpractice, and many more areas of law practice.
Naloxone is a prescription antidote to reverse the potentially deadly effects of opioids like heroin or prescription pain medications. Historically, naloxone (Narcan) use has been limited to paramedics and emergency medicine physicians. What is this antidote and how does it work? Is it safe and how are laws in Pennsylvania allowing for distribution among the public? How are families and friends of opioid users able to walk into a Pennsylvania pharmacy without a paper prescription to obtain this drug? This session reviews opioid toxicity, the public health implications of opioid overdose, and the science behind naloxone.
Additional topics include:
- Naloxone’s comparison to other opioid antagonists
- Data on the various routes of administration of naloxone
- Safety issues with naloxone
- A comparison of the dosage forms of naloxone, including the non-FDA approved intranasal spray
- The growing interest in Pennsylvania’s laws regarding community naloxone distribution
- The status of legal barriers to increase naloxone access to opioid users and third parties nationwide
- The role of the Good Samaritan Law in naloxone community use