U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams talked Thursday of saving lives.
Adams wants naloxone available to all families and first responders in the U.S. so that the drug can be used to help reverse opioid overdoses.
“Any one of you can save a life,” he said. “Just like everyone knows about CPR, everyone of you should know about naloxone.”
State Health Officer Dr. Mary Currier said Thursday she has just issued an order that makes it possible for any Mississippi family to obtain naloxone. A 2017 Mississippi law paved the way for her order.
Nationwide, more than 175 Americans die each day from drug overdoses. Overdoses are on track to claim 1 million lives by 2020. Two-thirds of those overdoses result from opioids.
Adams said Baltimore airport officials told him they respond to an opioid overdose once a week.
Naloxone reverses the effects of those opioid overdoses, which cause the body to stop breathing.
Although the drug has been around in generic form for more than 30 years, the price has skyrocketed in recent years, putting it beyond the reach of some police, first responders, community groups, and families and friends of overdose victims.
President Trump’s commission on combating the opioid crisis concluded the high price prevented governments and groups “from stocking naloxone at the levels necessary to rescue more people.”
Adams said Thursday that he hopes national conversations about the opioid epidemic can lead to conversations, also, on diabetes and vaccinations.