In a move to help combat the rising use of opioids around the United States, a jail in the Chicago area is giving naloxone to at-risk inmates, who are being released.Naloxone is a nasal spray drug used to help reverse the effects of opioid overdose.
More than 900 inmates at the Cook County Jail have been trained in how to use this.These include inmates deemed at a higher risk of getting an overdose or to using opioids.About 400 nasal spray devices have been provided to prisoners as they leave the jail.
The medicine is to help the inmates get quick treatment once they get back into using opioids.It is estimated that the first two weeks after an inmate is released from jail is the time when the person is more likely to experience a fatal overdose.
There are plans to teach relatives and friends of inmates, who are being released, on how to use naloxone.It is unclear as to when this part of the program will be implemented, but it is designed to help make it easier for people to get the help they need in the event of overdose.
This is part of a more recent trend of jails giving out naloxone to at-risk prisoners.Since 2014, friends of inmates at the Rikers Island jail in New York have been receiving this drug to use on those who are at risk.About 4,000 kits have been given to them since.
About the Drug
Photo by: Governor Tom Wolf via Flickr
Naloxone, or Narcan as it is also known, is an antidote to opiates.This is to help treat people who have used heroin, morphine, codeine, or other opiate and have suffered an overdose as a result of their use.
This works in that the opioids will be blocked from opiate receptors in the brain.This is provided that the nasal spray is administered, when a person is suffering from significant breathing difficulties or other common signs of an overdose.Although it is also available as an injectable option that can be administered into the muscle in the arm, the nasal spray option has become more prominent lately, as it is often easier to use in some cases and may also target the brain in a shorter period of time.
It must be used as soon as possible to prevent the risk of brain damage from developing.It is also critical for any person, who uses this to contact emergency authorities as the drug is being used to help with administering further treatment support.
This is to keep the patients alive before they can receive the proper treatment that they need for recovering from an overdose.This can also help with getting people into particular programs to help them with recovering from particular overdoses.
Occurring Amid Serious Concerns
The offering of naloxone to more inmates is especially prominent, as opioid use has become rather commonplace around the United States in recent years.An analysis supported by IMS Health and Vector One has found that more opioids are being prescribed to people than ever before, thus leading to more overdoses and dependencies.In 2011, nearly 220 million opioid prescriptions were provided in the US.with Hydrocodone and Oxycodone being the more popular ones.This is an increase over the nearly 75 million that were given out in 1991.
The number has been increasing, as such products have become mass produced and offered for various pain-related issues.However, these have been found to be gateways towards the use of more serious drugs with heroin, which has become commonplace.
In addition, the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) states that opioids are contributing to a majority of overdose deaths in the country.In 2015, around 20,000 people died from overdoses relating to prescription pain killers.Thirteen thousand more people died from heroin overdoses during that same time period.
The ASAM also states that about four out of five people who use heroin started using opioids after being prescribed pain medications like Oxycodone.Many people have especially stated that they used heroin even though it is more dangerous, as heroin is much more affordable for them to buy on the street than many medications that they need to get prescriptions for.
The continuing effort of jails to provide inmates and those close to them with naloxone is the latest step in the efforts to control opioid abuse.This is especially to help with keeping overdoses from being a significant threat and to ensure that inmates can get the assistance that they need for getting back any potential addictions that they had fallen into.