Position statement on bystander naloxone

November 4, 2014, 8:31 pm

Intranasal naloxone★★★★☆

Position Statement: Expanding access to naloxone in the United States. Doyon S et al Clin Toxicol 2014 Oct 15 [Epub ahead of print]


This position statement was endorsed by the American Academy of Clinical Toxicology, the American College of Medical Toxicology, and the American Association of Poison control Centers.

The authors start off by noting the marked increase in overdose deaths that have tripled over the last 30 years, and resulted in what the CDC calls an epidemic. They point out that in 2010 there were over 15,000 deaths from prescription opioid overdose. They also state — without citing evidence or further explanation — that most of these deaths are preventable.

It is, however, clear that bystander training in recognizing opioid overdose, initiating basic rescue interventions, and administering intranasal naloxone — along with distributing naloxone to members of the lay public most likely to encounter overdose victims — can have a dramatic impact in reducing overdose deaths. This position statement recommends the following:

  1. facilitating  distribution of naloxone for bystander administration
  2. gathering additional data on the effectiveness and safety of these programs
  3. enacting Good Samaritan laws applying to bystander use of naloxone
  4. educating the public on these

This is an important statement supported by the major American medical toxicology groups, and published in both of the major toxicology journals (Clin Toxicol  and J Med Toxicol). It should be read by anyone in a position to implement or participate in these bystander naloxone training programs.
Related posts:

The New Yorker  magazine on intranasal naloxone

Intranasal administration safe and effective for selected drugs


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