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Naloxone

Naloxone: An opioid receptor antagonist that rapidly binds to opioid receptors, blocking heroin from activating them. An appropriate dose of naloxone acts in less than 2 minutes and completely eliminates all signs of opioid intoxication to reverse an opioid overdose.

Source:  National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA).  Research Report Series:  Heroin. November 2014, Bethesda, MD:  National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA). 

Naloxone that can be used by nonmedical personnel has been shown to be cost-effective and save lives.  In April 2014, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a Naloxone hand-held auto-injector called Evzio, which rapidly delivers a single dose of naloxone into the muscle or under the skin, buying time until medical assistance can arrive. 

Source:  National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA).  Research Report Series:  Heroin. November 2014, Bethesda, MD:  National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA). 

Law enforcement officers are often the first responders in overdose cases as a result many law enforcement agencies are training officers to administer naloxone. 

 

Naloxone Administrations

The Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) tracks Naloxone administration throughout the county, as well as Emergency Department (ED) visits attributed to “overdose.” ACHD identified a significant increase in both categories in 2015 (Figure 1).  

(U) Figure 1: Monthly Naloxone Administration by Pittsburgh Emergency Medical Services,

                                                 January 2014 to December 2015


Source: Allegheny County Health Department

 

ACHD also identified overdose “hotspots” (Figure 2) related to Naloxone administration per capita. 

 

(U) Figure 2: Naloxone Administration per 100,000 residents by zip code, Allegheny County, 2015


Source: Allegheny County Health Department