Some States Report Progress in Reducing Death Toll From Opioids

U.S. map

New Hampshire, Ohio and Rhode Island are among the states starting to see a decline in deaths from opioid overdoses, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The New Hampshire state medical examiner’s office reported a 10 percent decline in opioid deaths from 2017 to 2018—its first decrease in six years. Opioid deaths in Ohio were 23 percent lower in the second half of 2017 compared with the first six months. Preliminary data indicates the decline continued into 2018. The sudden arrival of the highly potent opioid carfentanil in 2016 led to a surge of deaths in Ohio, but deaths linked to the drug dropped dramatically in 2017.

Ohio has expanded access to the opioid overdose antidote naloxone, and increased programs aimed at preventing painkiller abuse, the article notes. In New Hampshire, policy makers have pushed to increase citizens’ access to naloxone.

How to Use Naloxone to Reverse Opioid Overdose and Save Lives

A variety of drugs and drug combinations carry the risk of fatal overdose. Emergency protocol for any suspected overdose includes calling 911. However, in the case of opioids, which includes heroin and prescription pain medications like Vicodin, OxyContin and Percocet, naloxone (also known by the brand name Narcan) can reverse an overdose, potentially saving a loved one’s life.

How to Respond to Overdose with Naloxone - Narcan

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