The Massachusetts Medical Society is recommending not only drug users carry narcan, but friends, relatives, and public places like restaurants.
Keeping the patient alive so they can get treatment is a vital part of their philosophy.
“Unfortunately, overdose is no longer a rare event,” said Alexander Y. Walley, MD, MSc, director of the Addiction Medicine Fellowship at the Clinical Addiction Research and Education Unit, Boston University School of Medicine/Boston Medical Center.
“It’s important to have naloxone available not only to people who themselves are at risk for overdose, but also to those who have someone in their lives who is at risk,” says Dr. Walley, who is also associate professor of medicine at Boston University School of Medicine. “Access is also critical in other areas of society; for example, to someone who owns a restaurant, where the bathroom could potentially be a place where drugs are ingested.”
Key Messages for Patients
Go to the pharmacy: Since 2014, all Massachusetts retail pharmacies licensed by the Board of Pharmacy must obtain a standing order and maintain a continuous supply of naloxone.
Talk to the pharmacist: Pharmacists at locations that recognize standing orders are required to complete naloxone training approved by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH), including how to advise customers on when and how to deploy naloxone.
Insurance covers it: MassHealth, and most insurers in the state, cover naloxone with affordable co-pays, according to the MDPH.
Other options: The state has a variety of resources that can provide “safety-net” access to naloxone; for example, the Overdose Education and Naloxone Distribution (OEND) pilot program, administered by the MDPH, is aimed at those most at risk of experiencing an opioid overdose, and has 21 locations statewide.
Educational tools: The MDPH has online and print resources for patients, families, communities, providers, and state municipalities and agencies.
Click on the link for a copy of the entire article Massachusetts Medical Society and Narcan