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The Pawprint | ENHS

The Pawprint | ENHS

The Pawprint | ENHS

How to Save a Life for $20

Photo+from+Dreamstime+Stock
Photo from Dreamstime Stock

The most modern domestic crisis of our time kills hundreds every day. 

Opioids.

These drugs are responsible for more overdose deaths than any other drug, a number only exacerbated by the introduction of fentanyl—a synthetic opioid infamous for its potency and explosive spread in influence over recent years. 

Even here, in Oklahoma, the problem is prolific, with as many 350 adults and children overdosing on opioids in 2021. It is clear that there is a rising epidemic of deadly drug interactions, and while many see the situation as helpless, the average person can save a life.

 

What is NARCAN?

NARCAN (generically known as naloxone) is an over-the-counter nasal spray that can be administered to someone experiencing an opioid-related overdose. This drug can rapidly and completely reverse the overdose, allowing for the otherwise victim to be treated and saved from a painful, sudden death. 

It is simple to use and not costly: averaging at around $20 per dose. 

In fact, NARCAN is credited with significantly reducing the rate of overdose deaths in states that ease its accessibility. Many tutorials and instructions exist online on how best to administer NARCAN to someone experiencing an overdose, but the best place to learn is the NARCAN site itself.

 

NARCAN in Public Spaces

As cities become more accustomed and prepared to deal with drug emergencies, the use and availability of NARCAN has grown significantly. For instance, many municipal fire stations and police departments are carrying the life-saving drug to first-responses, applying life-saving care before many ambulatory teams can arrive. 

Edmond Public Schools also direct Student Resource Officers to carry it in case of an on-campus overdose, providing a sense of security for students.

Furthermore, many pharmacies choose to co-prescribe NARCAN with opioids, ensuring that many people taking opioids or potentially dealing opioids have access to care if needed. 

Measures like these save more lives every year as overdoses become more prolific; it is clear that taking steps to increase access to NARCAN in public decreases the amount of deaths we see in our cities.

Opioids are everywhere: where people have access, abuse continues. To combat the rising number of deaths, it is necessary that everyone have access to this life-saving medicine.

 

Carrying NARCAN

While students are not permitted to carry any drug onto school premises, they can still store NARCAN at home, in their vehicle, or in their bag outside of school. 

The reality is that many of us know someone engaging in drug related behavior which carries the risk of being exposed to fentanyl or other trace opioids. 

It is imperative that you or someone close to you carries NARCAN because you never know when it will be needed.

$20 to save a life.

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About the Contributor
Ethan Leehan, Senior Editor
Ethan Leehan is a senior at Edmond North as well as at Francis Tuttle Bioscience and Medicine Academy. He enjoys baking, cooking, science and writing. Ethan plans to attend university under a Biochemistry and Linguistic Anthropology double major.

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