Kentucky Recovery Groups Lobby For Expanded Access to Heroin Antidote

Published 03/04 2014 06:41PM

Updated 03/05 2014 12:41AM

Owensboro, KY - Kentucky recovery groups are lobbying the Food and Drug Administration to make a potentially life saving drug available to everyone. ***However, not everyone thinks it is a good idea. The drug Narcan is also called Naloxone and it is an antidote for people suffering from an overdose of narcotics. Medics in Owensboro have carried the drug for years but, recovery groups say making the antidote available to the public would save more lives.

"I had a seizure is what they believe I had. DMS came on scene and gave me Narcan as a way to stabilize me" says Derrick Arthur.

The Recovery Counselor says the drug saved his life at that time only first responders carried the drug but, he thinks it could save more lives if family members and others were also allowed to use it.

"First responders who were EMS; they were the only ones who had the ability to have it other than maybe a doctor or something like that. They [People Advocating Recovery] teamed up with doctors in town and advocated to have that in Northern Kentucky", Arthur added.

Narcan is not new to paramedics who use it to reverse an overdose.

"It's a pretty common drug medication for EMS to carry" says, Director Yellow Ambulance Services, Jamie Hardin.

Hardin says its an essential part of paramedic training.

"It's very important. When we give this usually the person is unconscious and not breathing. It's a drug that prevents them from not breathing", Hardin added.

*Several states are pushing for it's availability to friends and families of drug abusers, but some say it won't discourage drug use.

"Those who are using drug and alcohol will choose to do so whether there is an availablity to save their life or not" Arthur added.

Arthur says he empathizes with those in recovery and trying to redeem themselves.

"You may see those who are at the bottom and ready to actually make a change in their life , so to be able to give them that opportunity through this Narcan might be a good thing" he added.

The White House has encouraged the all first responders to have Narcan (Naloxone) on hand. In 2012, the **FDA held hearings on making Narcan available over the counter, but has yet to do so.

*See States with Narcan (Naloxone) Administration Laws here.

**See FDA 2012 Narcan (Naloxone) Expanded Access Power Point Here.

***See FDA List of Narcan (Naloxone) Side Effects here.

Report by Fadia Patterson

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