Naloxone Critics Say Overdose Antidote Encourages Repeated Drug Use

Critics of the opioid overdose antidote naloxone say the treatment encourages repeated drug use, according to The New York Times. Many people overdose more than once, sometimes many times, and naloxone brings them back each time.

Proponents of naloxone say it allows people to get into treatment. The nation’s death toll from opioids would be much higher without naloxone, the article notes. Lawmakers in every state except Kansas, Montana and Wyoming have passed legislation making the antidote easier to get.

Dr. Alexander Y. Walley, an addiction medicine specialist at Boston Medical Center, told the newspaper that arguing naloxone encourages riskier drug use was like saying seatbelts encourage riskier driving.

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    Kevin P.

    August 2, 2016 at 6:41 PM

    It is true that if/when naltrexone works, the person lives to abuse drugs for another day. Or, they live another day and maybe help someone else on the way. Or maybe they live another day to help themselves. Kevin M. Passer, M.D. FAPA

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    Heather L.

    August 1, 2016 at 4:22 PM

    I just have to say I’m grateful there is any response at all. Most sites have people talking horribly about the addicted person, and at least here people see addiction as a baffling disease and that lives are worth saving, even if the addicted person uses again. It’s like bringing a diabetic out of a coma and then not wanting to inject them again with insulin if they eat sugar. Times are changing, thank goodness.

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    Victoria

    July 29, 2016 at 7:30 AM

    I just have to tell it like it is when I read the following;
    “Critics of the opioid overdose antidote naloxone say the treatment encourages repeated drug use, according to The New York Times. Many people overdose more than once, sometimes many times, and naloxone brings them back each time.
    That is the most ignorant and irresponsible verbalized thought process I have ever read or heard regarding the opiate problem we as human being are facing! Whoever came up with that one has no idea what they are talking about when it comes to addiction. I sincerely hope they are not treating people who have a substance use disorder.
    Tell that to a loved one of the reported 47,000 plus people who overdosed and died in the year 2014 (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), me being one of them as well as being a seasoned therapist specializing in addiction, and we will educate that individual or anyone else who shares that sentiment real quick just how heartbreaking it is to have loss someone to this disease.

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