Naloxone Availability for Employers: A New NIOSH Fact Sheet

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Washington — NIOSH has published a new fact sheet for employers considering a naloxone program to help prevent opioid overdoses.

According to the fact sheet, opioid misuse and overdose deaths from opioids are serious health issues in the United States. Overdose deaths involving prescription and illicit opioids doubled from 2010 to 2016, with more than 42,000 deaths in 2016.

According to 2017 data from the National Center for Health Statistics, 115 people die from an opioid overdose every day in the United States.

Naloxone can halt many life-threatening effects of an opioid overdose. It also can reverse loss of consciousness and sedation that result from an overdose. The fact sheet highlights the drug’s limitations and side effects.

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Naloxone is a medication approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to prevent overdose by opioids such as heroin, morphine, and oxycodone. It blocks opioid receptor sites, reversing the toxic effects of the overdose.

Director John Howard said in an Oct. 11 press release, “NIOSH developed this fact sheet to help employers decide if having naloxone available is right for their workplace.”

Dr. Howard added, “having naloxone available can provide a tool that workplaces can use, along with first aid measures to support breathing, to provide aid in the event of an opioid overdose while waiting on first responders to arrive on the scene.”

Meantime, Sen Ted Cruz (R-TX), said in an interview with Safety and Health, at the 2018 NSC Congress and Expo,This is an epidemic that cuts across every profession. It cuts across every racial and ethnic line. It cuts across genders, cuts across every socioeconomic level. And those dealing with addiction need to be in treatment, and if they don’t get in treatment, it can get out of control and it can take their life.”