In a law that affects San Diego along with the rest of the state of California, patients prescribed any opioids for pain relief, will also receive a prescription for Narcan. Narcan is a nose-spray applied drug, which is a form of the medication, Naloxone. It acts as an opioid inhibitor and may require additional doses after the half an hour to hour of its effectiveness wears off.
Naloxone has been known to cause withdrawal symptoms in opioid addicts but can be a lifesaving medication if used properly. The bill was signed recently by Governor Brown, and has gained tremendous support from Californians, including celebrities like musician John Soloman, who has hailed the Bill as a “life saver”
While opioid addiction has been an ongoing problem in America, it became worse in the past decade with the availability of drugs like Fentanyl hitting the market. Initially used to combat pain in patients with injury or illness, opioids are also used for recreational use, and are commonly used by those who were introduced to them legally as a form of pain management.
Even with a rise in opioid awareness programs, opioid addiction clinics, and lifesaving tactics, such as this latest Narcan Bill, the risk for overdose is extremely high in addicts. The availability of Naloxone will make it easier to stop an overdose before it becomes fatal, and Adapt Pharma, Narcan’s parent company, has made it clear that they hope this new law will bring down the high number of annual overdoses linked to risky opioid prescriptions.
Naloxone Prescription Plans
Naloxone will also be offered to patients who have a history of overdose with opioid medications. This is part of the effort to make a safer California and provide help for the residents who so desperately need it. Many of the individuals developing addiction to opioids are using them for relevant reasons and have up to date prescriptions to obtain them. Some, of course get the drugs illegal and use them recreationally. Making Narcan easily accessible for both types of users will cut back on drug related deaths in San Diego and across California.
Consequences of Ignoring the New State Law
Failure to comply with this latest law will result in major consequences. Doctors could face a loss of license, fines, and more severe punishments if they don’t take this law seriously and always prescribe the two medications together. Doctors don’t have to prescribe the Narcon brand of the anti-opioid medication, but some form of Naloxone prescription must be evident in every opioid prescription.
Whether this latest law will make a difference in the lives of opioid users is yet to be seen, but the odds appear good based on tests and research. Naloxone alone won’t be enough to remove the risk of overdose completely, but it can to reduce these risks and to help some users fight the consequences of their addictions. San Diagans hope that the law will branch off into more laws which will consider the need for more detox and addiction support across the state.