Naloxone: Should It Be Available or Not?
Naloxone is an antidote to a heroin or painkiller overdose. There is currently a debate as to whether naloxone, also known as its old brand name Narcon, should be available to the public without a prescription in order to prevent overdose deaths. During the last decade in the U.S., heroin overdose deaths nearly doubled, rising from 1,725 in 1999 to 3,278 in 2009. Lethal overdoses from opiate painkillers such as Oxycontin and Vicodin almost quadrupled during the same period, from 4,030 to 15,597. In response to the alarming increase, the Food and Drug Administration recently unveiled a proposal to distribute naloxone to the public.