Opioid ODs now kill more people than car crashes. That’s a death around every half hour. In this epidemic, this public health disaster of our own creation, you can see why the FDA fast-tracked this new drug packaging. Naloxone or Narcan, is a powerful opioid antagonist. It runs to your brain, rips the fun out, and takes you out of an OD, fast. It can also put you into instant withdrawal.
Traditionally, it was hard to get and use naloxone. Prices have been going up for years. There’s supply shortages because a single pharma monopolized naloxone “accidentally.” You’d have to go through a special program or be an emergency responder. It would come in an ampoule or a vial. You’d have to crack it open, measure out a syringe, and stick ‘em. You’re panicking. 911 is asking if you’re still there, your friend, your brother, your lover, is turning blue and dying right in front of your eyes, and you’re fumbling with a needle.
Recognizing an OD can be hard. They should still respond to strong simulation. Strong shaking, and mild pain should wake them. If they stay unresponsive, this is a serious medical emergency. There might be more signs: nails and skin going blue, breathing and heart rate becoming erratic or even stopping. Beware snoring; it might actually be an OD, so try waking them. It’s better to have a bad night’s sleep, then spending every night revisiting that moment in your nightmares.
If they are responsive, but unable to speak, tell them that you’re going to call 911 and get help. Turn them on their side — the recovery position, so they don’t choke on their own vomit.
This new autoinjector, Evzio, is made very specifically for amateurs. The package itself contains a speaker which will talk you through it. There are also printed instructions. To use it is simple: after removing it from its case, firmly pull down the red safety guard. Beware the needle in the black base. Find the victim’s outer thigh and press the black base on it firmly, through clothing if you have to. Press and hold for 5 seconds, it click and a hiss at this time. The injector itself should now tell you that it’s been used.
Have fun; try not to die.