This weekend, people across the valley will come together in the fight against opioid addiction. On Saturday, the third annual End Heroin Walk will take place at Big Spring Park, and event organizers want to spread the word that that Narcan, a medicine that reverses opioid overdose, will be handed out to folks there.
Narcan is the brand name for Naloxone. It comes in the form of a nasal spray, and when administered, doctors say it reverses opioid overdose.
“The Narcan is an inhaled form of Naloxone,” said Dr. Shivani Malhotra, assistant professor and associate program director at UAB. “This is an easy form of Naloxone to be used by family and friends for overdose. So if you recognize anyone in an overdose, you open the inhaler, place it in the patient’s nostril and press.”
Dr. Malhotra says at the walk, medical staff from UAB and Auburn will help educate folks about how to administer Narcan in case they come across a friend or loved one who appears to have overdosed.
“Our goal is to educate families and friends to have this on hand if they see someone overdose, they can use this and reverse the effect of the opioids. I think everyone deserves one more chance,” said Dr. Malhotra. “If they come back, there are a lot of recovery or rehab places which we want them to go.”
Narcan is available at pharmacies, but Dr. Malhotra giving the kits away for free and educating families about it is a huge support for the community.
“I would say for right now there is a very poor accessibilty of Narcan at most pharmacies, and the cost is a big barrier for most of the people,” she said.
Narcan does not cause any harm to the patient. it simply reverses the opioids.
“I would encourage everyone if they see an overdose and have this on hand to use it and try it and give them a chance,” she said.
There a good samaritan law in Alabama that protects you if you were to use Narcan on a family member or friend.
Click here for more information about the walk: https://www.facebook.com/events/328298671449414/