Hospital emergency departments are tasked with saving the lives of people who overdose on opioids. Clinicians and researchers hope that more can be done during the hospital encounter to connect people with treatment.
Lisa, a client at the AAC Needle Exchange and Overdose Prevention Program in Cambridge, Mass. Nearly five years after an opioid overdose she still limps — possibly because of damage the drug cocktail did to her nerves or muscles.
People in their mid-40s to mid-60s are more likely than any other group to be prescribed opioids with benzodiazepines. Both kinds of drugs can hamper breathing and mixing them is especially risky.
Imodium is a popular brand of the drug loperamide. Because loperamide is increasingly being abused by opioid users, some toxicologists think it should have the same sales restrictions as pseudoephedrine.
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Tina Wolf demonstrates the use of naloxone to community members in Lindenhurst, N.Y., during an overdose prevention training. Georgia Dolan-Reilly (left) of the Suffolk County Prevention Resource Center helped with the training.
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Several states distribute Naloxone hydrochloride, also called Narcan, to treat opium-based drug overdoses. But only one company manufactures the drug, and the price has spiked in recent years.