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Pharma Company Will Now Offer Free Narcan Nasal Spray to All High Schools

Pharma Company Will Now Offer Free Narcan Nasal Spray to All High Schools

(This content is being used for illustrative purposes only; any person depicted in the content is a model)

Author: Shernide Delva

With the prescription pain killer epidemic spreading all over the country, high schools are faced with having to deal with the potential of an overdose happening on school grounds. Now, in an effort to combat the opioid overdose problem in schools, the company Adapt Pharma will offer all high schools in the United States a free carton of Narcan nasal spray.

The announcement was made during the Clinton health Matters Initiation Activation Summit on Monday, January 25. The overall goal of the program is to assist in efforts to address the growing risk of opioid overdoses among American high-school students. In the past few months, we have posted about pharmacies now offering Narcan and the concept of school nurses having Narcan on hand. However, this is a very hand-on approach to placing Narcan in schools for free.

The Clinton Health Matters Initiative presently is focusing its work to back national efforts to provide universal naloxone access. Seamus Mulligan, the chairman and CEO of Adapt Pharma, Ltd, a pharmaceutical company based in Ireland, explained the importance of the program:

“We understand the crucial role schools can play to change the course of the opioid overdose epidemic by working with students and families. We also want every high school in the country to be prepared for an opioid emergency by having access to a carton of NARCAN Nasal Spray at no cost.”

As a result, Adapt Pharma will offer a free carton of Nurcan (naloxone hydrochloride) nasal spray to all high schools in the United States. With this initiative, the next problem that comes to mind is education on the use of Nurcan to stop an overdose. That is where the second program coming in. The second initiative by Adapt Pharma is to offer a grant to the National Association of School Nurses (NASN) to support their educational efforts concerning opioid overdose education materials. NASN has been in full support of the use or Narcan nasal spray and plans to further educational efforts on treating overdoses.

NASN President Beth Mattey elaborates on the necessity of school nurses having access to Nurcan since often school nurses act as first responders in the school setting,

“We educate our students, families, and school staff about prescription drug and substance abuse, and help families seek appropriate treatment and recovery options. Having access to naloxone can save lives and is often the first step toward recovery. We are taking a proactive approach to address the possibility of a drug overdose in school.”

Nurcan nasal spray is the latest cutting edge emergency treatment for opioid overdoses. Nurcan is not a substitute for medical emergency care however if used immediately, Nurcan can help save the life of many. When it comes to overdoses, time is of the essence. Previously, naloxone was only available injectable forms, most commonly delivered by syringe or auto-injected. With nasal sprays, it is easier for more people to use.

The need for action is more than necessary. According to recent reports, over 44,000 people die from accidental overdoses each year in the United States.  Most of these deaths are from opioids such as pain medications and heroin.  There has been a five-fold increase in the total number of heroin-related deaths from 2001 to 2013 and the numbers have continued to climb. The death toll can be reduced if we can get naloxone in the hands of more people.

As the number of people affected by drug addiction continues to soar, the nation needs to look at every option out there. Implementing training to administer Nurcan in high schools can save lives in the most critical moments. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135.

Alcohol Killing Americans in Record Numbers

Alcohol Killing Americans in Record Numbers

(This content is being used for illustrative purposes only; any person depicted in the content is a model)

Author: Shernide Delva 

There has been an influx of media attention on the heroin and painkiller epidemic which is now at record numbers. The focus in the media has been on the rise in overdose fatalities from heroin and prescription painkillers. Overdoses have more than tripled in the last decade and the numbers continues to rise at alarming rates. While raising awareness of the opioid epidemic is necessary and much needed, we still cannot take our attention away from the drug killing Americans the most: alcohol.

The biggest threat to Americans remains to be alcohol. Americans are dying from alcohol abuse at numbers that exceed anything we’ve seen in the past 35 years. The CDC estimates that in just the last year, over 30,700 people died from alcohol-related causes, including alcohol poisoning and cirrhosis of the liver.

In a little over a decade, the number of Americans who have died from alcohol have risen by 37 percent.  In 2014, more people died from alcohol-induced causes than from painkillers and heroin combined, says the CDC.

If you think these numbers are high due to alcohol-related accidents, you are wrong. These numbers do not even include deaths caused by alcohol like drunken driving incidences, and murders committed under the influence. If we were to count those deaths, the death toll would be up to 90,000.

Why do these numbers continue to climb? Researchers conclude it is simply because Americans are drinking more. The statistics prove this conclusion:

  • Americans who drink at least once a month rose from 54.9% to 56.9%.
  • 51.9% of women reported drinking at least monthly in 2014, up from 47.9% in 2002.
  • Binge drinking by women is up to 17.4% from 15.7% in 2002.

All in all, binge drinking is the major culprit. People who drink the most are at the highest risk for alcohol-related death. According to past research by Cook, the top 10% of American drinkers consume close to 74 drinks a week on average. Drinking at this rate is linked to a range of health complications, including cirrhosis, cancer, brain damage, drunk driving and other accident fatalities.

For more moderate drinkers, the health effects of alcohol remain less clear. The research and data from moderate drinking has been all over the place. Some data suggests moderate alcohol consumption; around one-to-two drinks per day may actually be healthy.

However, there is a gray line when it comes to moderate to harmful drinking. A recent study revealed that when used alone, alcohol was the deadliest recreational substance, followed by heroin and cocaine. For this reason, many are urging public health officials to shift focus away from the dangers of drugs like pot and LSD and focus more on educating people about the dangers of drinking.

Alcohol is a dangerous substance that when used in excess, can cause serious health consequences.  However, since alcohol remains more accessible than any other drug, it increases the risk of abuse. Alcohol is a socially accepted drug and has played a role in our culture for so long that many do not even realize they have a problem until it is too late.

Alcoholism is a serious disease and if you feel your drinking is getting out of control, do not wait to be a statistic, get treatment today. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135

Overdose Profile: Alcohol

Overdose Profile Alcohol

What Is Alcohol Overdose?

An alcohol overdose occurs when someone has a blood alcohol content (or BAC) sufficient to cause impairments that can increase the risk of certain harm to them. Overdoses can range in severity, from problems with balance and slurred speech to coma or even death.

How Much Can You Drink Without Overdosing?

First off, there is no set limit as to how much alcohol you can drink before reaching overdose levels. In fact, there are many factors that can lead to an alcohol overdose such as age, weight and height, drinking experience, gender, the amount of food eaten, and even ethnicity. Also, your ability to tolerate certain of levels of alcohol can fluctuate from drinking session to drinking session, That is, the next time you drink, it may take less alcohol to get drunk than the last time you drank.

So, when you begin to feel tipsy, you are actually already experiencing alcohol overdose; just small increases in your BAC can affect coordination, make you sick, and cloud your judgment. These impairments can lead to falls, car crashes, make you vulnerable to sexual assault or other acts of violence, and increase the risk for unprotected sex. When BACs increase even more, amnesia, also called alcohol blackouts, can occur.

Signs of Alcohol Overdose

Continuing to drink despite clear signs of significant impairments can result in a potentially deadly type of overdose called alcohol poisoning. It is important to know that BAC can continue to rise even when you are unconscious. This is because undigested alcohol that is still in your stomach and intestine continues to be absorbed into the bloodstream and circulate throughout your body.

Alcohol overdose and poisoning occurs when there is so much alcohol in the bloodstream that the areas of the brain that control your basic life support functions—like breathing, heart rate, and body temperature —begin to shut down. Symptoms of alcohol poisoning include confusion; difficulty remaining conscious; vomiting; seizures; trouble with breathing; slow heart rate; clammy skin; dulled responses, such as no gag reflex (which prevents choking); and extremely low body temperature.

Know the Critical Signs and Symptoms of Alcohol Overdose and Poisoning:

  • Mental confusion, stupor
  • Coma, inability to wake up
  • Vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Slow breathing (fewer than 8 breaths per minute)
  • Irregular breathing (10 seconds or more between breaths)
  • Hypothermia (low body temperature): bluish skin color, paleness

What To Do/What Not To Do

All too often, we hear of tragic and avoidable deaths due to alcohol overdose and poisoning, especially among youth such as high school and college students. In these cases, others have assumed that the unconscious person just needs to “sleep it off.”

A person who drinks to the point of passing out is in danger of dying by asphyxiation, or suffocation. When someone is drunk enough to pass out, their brain is not functioning properly – automatic responses such as gag reflex are no longer working and this, combined with the tendency of vomiting from alcohol, can lead to the unconscious person literally choking on their own vomit.

Other “remedies” for alcohol overdose do not work either and are just as dangerous if the overdose goes ignored and untreated. Cold showers, hot coffee, or walking will not reverse the effects of an alcohol overdose and could actually make things worse.

If you suspect someone is suffering an alcohol overdose and poisoning, it is imperative to get medical help immediately.

Alcohol overdose is a sign of alcohol abuse and possibly alcohol addiction. If someone you know needs alcohol addiction treatment, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sources:

http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/

 

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