SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A family member, friend or caregiver can now carry a heroin overdose reversal drug. Lawmakers and doctors say this is not a substitute for medical care, but it is a first step to saving a loved one’s life.
It’s small enough to fit in your pocket, an automatic device that can inject just the right amount of the overdose reversal drug, naloxone, commonly known as Narcan. The FDA on Thursday approved the first at-home heroin overdose reversal shot.
Until now, only the trained professionals could administer Narcan. In West Springfield, both firefighters and paramedics carry the reversal drug, but now, with the FDA approval, you can start reversing overdose effects while waiting for first responders.
Kris Hamel of Westhampton said, “If they are struggling with an addiction or if they clearly have an issue, you know, one more opportunity for a loved one or a friend to help them until they can get other services they need, you know, sounds like a good idea.”
Hang Le of Agawam told 22News, “Yeah, a good thing. Saving lives is a good thing, you know, so they can help each other.”
Howeverm not everyone agrees. A woman who didn’t want to be identified said, “I feel that it’s a waste of money because these people choose to do drugs. This is their way of living. So why can’t we spend our money and energy on things like children that are being abused?”
The device requires a prescription. It’ll reverse the slowed-down breathing that leads to death during an overdose, but after that, the person who overdosed will still need proper medical care.