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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    Fred Martin

    July 27, 2016 at 2:42 PM

    I’m employed for a non-profit agency who has an information / help line. In regard to a person being encourage to use after receiving naloxone is nonsense. I received a call from a mother who was looking assistance in another area for recovery support shared me with me her son’s recovery journey. She said the her son’s life was saved 3 times after receiving naloxone. The mother said after the 3rd time her son admitted that he needs help. He finally realize that what he was doing was insane and that he may not get another chance. He said I’m ready for help. today he has over 6 months on his recovery journey and has became very involve in the recovery field.

    I says all this to say that there are “Many Pathways to Recovery” and we must embrace and support all pathways.

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    Cheri Hartman

    July 27, 2016 at 2:39 PM

    Not everyone who is revived using naloxone will get into the treatment they need – but no hope for treatment exists if you are dead! Our communities needed to problem solve making treatment services more readily available, affordable, evidence-based, – accessible in every possible way, non-judgmental, integrated with primary care and especially emergency medicine. Then we might see fewer people in constant active relapse and addiction and able to get medically stabilized and achieve recovery.

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    Ian McLoone

    July 27, 2016 at 2:37 PM

    WHY ARE YOU SHARING THIS?? Where is the evidence?? There is ZERO science or research to support this idea and has been contradicted numerous times when investigated. If the only support for your assertion is a quote from LaPage, Maine’s racist and lunatic governor, then you should probably think twice about sharing the article.

    Pieces like this are fueling society’s stigma against drug users and people with addiction. It reminds me of Suboxone and methadone “opinion” pieces where decades of research and science are completely ignored by an “expert” whose only credential is their own recovery.

    This is truly disappointing, DrugFree.org. You should consider that your website is seen as a highly respected and trustworthy source of science- and research-informed content. People seeing only the headline may be inclined to take it at face value – especially considering you don’t dispute these ludicrous claims.

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    Gregg Bakere

    July 27, 2016 at 2:29 PM

    Curious that you chose, “Naloxone Critics Say Overdose Antidote Encourages Repeated Drug Use” as the lead to the article. You could also have chosen, “Naloxone Proponents Say Overdose Antidotes Saves Lives”. Or consider, perhaps, something balanced, “Naloxone; Overdose Antidote Provokes Complicated Opinions”.

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    Diana Robinson

    July 27, 2016 at 12:41 PM

    From a training I received on this topic, it appears that the “coming back” via Naloxone is far from pleasant, and in fact is a pretty horrible experience. If indeed some people are willing to experience that several times, that simply speaks to the incredible power of their addiction, not to any idea that this is a quick and easy “fix” to be casually repeated over and over.

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