January 9, 2018 – As the opioid epidemic continues to take its toll on the United States, raising awareness to those struggling with the disease of addiction is more important than ever. Addiction treatment experts have many tools to help, and one is a life-saving drug that reverses the effects of opioids on the human body.
Beth Schmidt, the co-founder of Maryland Heroin Awareness Advocates, shared with the Washington Post her story of how she became a leader in the effort to address the disease of addiction. In December 2013, her son died of an overdose which prompted her to raise awareness for opioid addiction prevention and treatment.
Schmidt encourages the public to acquire the life-saving nasal spray Naloxone that can resuscitate overdose victims:
“Never in a million years did I think I’d end up helping people save their own children from dying by overdose,” she says. “But as a grieving mom, I don’t want anyone else to have to walk in my shoes.”
Naloxone is increasingly seen as the first line of defense in an opioid overdose. When administered within the first minutes — even up to an hour or more — of a potentially deadly overdose, it can resuscitate a victim before their fate is sealed.
Naloxone — also known by its most common brand-name version, Narcan — was once only in the purview of first responders. But enhancements in law and policy are increasing access to the drug, placing it more easily into the hands of anyone who wants it in a “remarkably rapid progression,” according to Corey Davis, deputy director of the Network for Public Health Law.
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Read the full story from the Washington Post.