U.S. Surgeon General calls for more people to carry Narcan - FOX Carolina 21

U.S. Surgeon General calls for more people to carry Narcan

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(FOX Carolina)/April 6, 2018 (FOX Carolina)/April 6, 2018

The U.S. Surgeon General just issued an advisory, calling for more people to carry the overdose reversing drug Naloxone, also known by its brand name, Narcan.

It's a rare advisory from the nation's top doctor, but Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams says it's needed, as the number of overdose deaths in the U.S. have doubled in recent years.

He is calling for friends, family and community members who come into contact with those with opioid dependence issues, to carry Narcan.

We spoke with the Phoenix Center in Greenville.  The director of outpatient services, Michael Mclain, told us the new advisory is welcome news, and that it could save the life of someone in need.

“We need to start looking at addiction that way, that it is a chronic disease that someone may get into recovery from but there could also be slips along the way, and so it's better to have it and not need it then to need it and not have it.”

An Upstate Physician, Dr. David Brancati, tells us, there are some concerns in the medical community, that making Narcan readily available could increase addiction problems.

“Another viewpoint expressed, and it's not one I can support one way or another, is that by handing someone Narcan, are you giving them the key to taking more and more opiates?  So is someone who is using less opiates and worried about that potential cause of death now going to bring themselves a higher addiction because they feel they have a rescue device?”

As for where the Narcan is available, the Phoenix Center tells us there is funding out there that allows some recovery programs to provide Narcan to the patient and or their family member.

It's also covered by Medicaid and most insurance plans for a small co-pay.

And in most pharmacy's in South Carolina, Narcan can be accessed without a prescription.  In fact, Walgreens and CVS pharmacies have both announced it can be bought over the counter.

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