SALT LAKE CITY (News4Utah) – Friday is International Overdose Prevention Day; advocates and medical professionals in Utah are renewing their efforts to save lives in Utah. A key tool in the fight is the life-saving drug Naloxone.
Most overdoses in Utah happen because of the misuse of prescription opioids, with on purpose or by accident. Angela Ito with the Department of Health says that Naloxone is a mandatory safety if there are opioids in the home. “Similar to having a gun, you’re going to have a gun lock, if you have opioids in the home whether you are using them appropriately or not, always have Naloxone available.”
The Utah Department of Health says the best way to prevent overdose is for everyone to have the information to recognize and help during an overdose.
Signs of an overdose are:
- the person is unresponsive
- their lips and/or fingertips are blue
- pinpoint pupils
- slow and possibly labored breathing
Naloxone is available at a low cost at all pharmacies in Utah without a prescription and for free at community action centers across the state. Visit Utah Naloxone to find a distribution center near you.
Naloxone comes in two forms, an injection and a nasal spray. Each kit comes with two doses. If you see someone is overdosing, administer one dose then ask someone to call for an ambulance and set a timer for two minutes. If at the end of two minutes the person is still unresponsive, administer the second dose.
Ito explained that there are no negative side-effects to having Naloxone on hand, “There’s no abuse potential, you can’t abuse it. If you use it wrong, if the person isn’t in fact over-dosing, nothings going to happen, so we want people to know this is a safe drug to have and to distribute.”