Back from the Brink: Heroin’s Antidote

The United States has seen a spike in Opioid abuse over the last decade, in 2010 an average of 100 people died a day due to an overdose. Drug overdoses now kill more people each year than gun shot wounds or car crashes but finding a solution has been hard because of the stigma surrounding drug users and lack of support for programs that are based on reducing the harmful effects of drug use rather than those requiring abstinence.

New England in particular has been hit hard by this rise in fatal overdoses and in Massachusetts deaths by heroin and other such opiates has rising by more than 90% since 2002. In response the states started a controversial program that provides ordinary people with the tools to prevent a fatal overdose. This “tool” is known by its brand name Narcan and it is in fact a nasal spray that can instantly stop an opioid overdose.

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