Surgeon General Advises Americans “At Risk” for Opioid Abuse to Carry Antidote

via Cindy Shebley / CC-BY-2.0

Last week, the United States Surgeon General released an advisement cautioning Americans “at risk” for opioid abuse to carry naloxene, an antidote that can be ingested through the nostrils or injected directly into the blood. The drug is sold in local pharmacies and carried by police officers and EMTs.

The current Surgeon General, Dr. Jerome Adams, spoke at the National Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit in Atlanta, addressing the public for the first time since his appointment. The announcement came as opioid abuse continues to become an epidemic amongst rural and suburban America.

Prescription drugs are the most commonly abused substances in today’s drug culture, but many have criticized the media for the sympathetic coverage of drug abuse when the demographic affected is mostly white and middle class.

Ronald Reagan’s War on Drugs attacked and villainized people of color, hunting out and sending many black and brown men to the penitentiary system for minor drug charges to set examples. President Trump declared opioid abuse a state of emergency last year, setting a very different tone for how drug abusers would be handled.

In response to the president’s call for action, widespread availability of the “antidote” has increased over the past few years. Prices have also increased with more visibility. The price of single syringe skyrocketed from $6 to $30 in some cases.