CDC Report Suggests Use of Antidote Could Have Prevented Opioid Overdose Deaths

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A new CDC report suggests distribution of naloxone, an opioid overdose antidote, and training in its administration could have prevented opioid overdose deaths.

Naloxone hydrochloride reverses the potentially fatal respiratory depression caused by opioid overdose and has been used increasingly since 1996. In October 2010, the Harm Reduction Coalition emailed a survey to the 50 programs known to distribute naloxone. From 1996-June 2010, programs reported providing training and distributing naloxone to an estimated 53,032 people and received reports of 10,171 overdose reversals using naloxone. Twenty-one (43.7 percent) programs reported problems obtaining naloxone in the "past few months" before the survey.

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