Drug overdose treatment approved for public use by prescription - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Drug overdose treatment approved for public use by prescription

Updated:
NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) -

New Orleans EMTs respond to more and more heroin emergencies, and the medicine they use to treat overdoses may soon be available by prescription for everyone else to help save lives.

A quick injection of medicine is supposed to help someone start breathing again after an overdose.

"I think this is something that can really save lives," said Dr. Jeffrey Elder, the New Orleans EMS medical director.

The FDA has approved a device that would work like an EpiPen. It's designed for family and friends to administer to someone with an addiction to opioids such as pain pills or heroin.

"What this allows you to do is immediately treat and reverse that effect of the opioid," said Elder.

New Orleans EMTs already use the medicine in the device, Narcam, to treat overdoses. Data shows they have had to use the drug more and more often.

In the first quarter of 2013, EMS treated 100 heroin or suspected heroin users with Narcam. In the same time period this year, EMS treated 148 heroin or suspected heroin users with the medicine.

"I think heroin use right now is an epidemic among young people," said Steve Kessler, the clinical director at Addiction Recovery Resources.

Kessler said once someone becomes addicted, an overdose could happen at any time.

"I've had patients that have died in their bed where their parents found them upstairs dead. It can happen in their car. I've had patients pulled over on the side of the road, they stopped on the side of the road to use [heroin], and overdosed," said Kessler.

Kessler said the new device will be better socially accepted when people understand the medical aspect of addiction.

"It's not a moral problem, it's not a social failing, it's not anything like that. If we treat it as a medical illness, nobody thinks twice about carrying an EpiPen for any sort of allergy," said Kessler.

Kessler said his patients are from all walks of society: from urban and suburban middle-class youth to Catholic high schools and colleges. So, he says, arming everyone with the best knowledge about addiction - and the best tools - will be the best way to save lives.

"It's a deadly disease, and it will kill like other diseases will, and if untreated that can happen at any moment," said Kessler.

The approved device is called Evzio.

In a news release, the director of the Division of Anesthesia, Analgesia, and Addiction Products in the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research Bob Rappaport, M.D. said, "Evzio is the first combination drug-device product designed to deliver a dose of naloxone [also known as narcam] for administration outside of a health care setting. Making this product available could save lives by facilitating earlier use of the drug in emergency situations."

Copyright 2014 WVUE. All rights reserved.

  • East Texas NewsMore>>

  • Puppies found in hot car, up for adoption

    Puppies found in hot car, up for adoption

    Thursday, July 31 2014 8:36 PM EDT2014-08-01 00:36:40 GMT
    The six pit bull puppies found in a hot car on Monday will soon be put up for adoption.More >>
    The six pit bull puppies found in a hot car on Monday will soon be put up for adoption.More >>
  • Hudson couple builds family home out of Styrofoam

    Hudson couple builds family home out of Styrofoam

    Thursday, July 31 2014 8:10 PM EDT2014-08-01 00:10:51 GMT
    The start of the Cockrell's family home The start of the Cockrell's family home
    A Hudson couple is taking a unique spin on home building by using an environmentally friendly method to build their family home.More >>
    A Hudson couple is taking a unique spin on home building by using an environmentally friendly method to build their family home.More >>
  • Texas man's life celebrated in Lufkin Mural

    Texas man's life celebrated in Lufkin Mural

    Thursday, July 31 2014 7:49 PM EDT2014-07-31 23:49:08 GMT
    Source: KTRE StaffSource: KTRE Staff
    Durell Gray is one of a few people whose picture graces a wall in downtown Lufkin. His picture sits at the corner of Frank and First Street.So how did the now 86-year-old man get his picture painted on a wall scene by hundreds every day? It all started while Gray worked as a lineman for the Lufkin Conroe Telephone Company. He said one day he received a letter in the mail from his employer asking for his help."They contacted us asking us if any lineman had picture with their gear on," Gray sai...More >>
    Durell Gray is one of a few people whose picture graces a wall in downtown Lufkin. His picture sits at the corner of Frank and First Street.So how did the now 86-year-old man get his picture painted on a wall scene by hundreds every day? It all started while Gray worked as a lineman for the Lufkin Conroe Telephone Company. He said one day he received a letter in the mail from his employer asking for his help."They contacted us asking us if any lineman had picture with their gear on," Gray sai...More >>
Powered by WorldNow
KTRE logo

KTRE

358 TV Road,
Pollok TX 75969

FCC Public File
publicfile@ktre.com
936-853-8639
EEO Report
Closed Captioning

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and KTRE. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.