Consider it the antivenin of heroin.
A new drug called “Narcan” is saving dozens of lives in Manchester, N.H., where the drug is being used frequently to combat heroin and other opiate overdoses. Boston news station WCVB ran a full-length report on the drug, which has been a savoir in a city with a rising number of heroin-related overdoses and deaths.
The increased use of the drug is a double-edged sword, according to local rescue personnel.
So far this year, Manchester’s medical system has recorded 361 drug overdoses so far this calendar year, with 52 of those overdoses resulting in death.
At the same time, the use of Narcan has increased more than 50 percent.
Chris Stawasz, general manager of American Medical Response, was quoted as saying overdoses are reaching new heights and his employees are “seeing things that we’ve never seen before.”
We’re seeing things we’ve never seen before. It’s everywhere. It’s a stigma for many people, but it shouldn’t be. These are human beings who need help, and that’s what we’re here to do.
Stawasz was also quoted as saying that his organization has administer more than 1,000 milligrams of Narcan to overdose patients, and that he predicts Manchester will see a 37 percent increase in the use of the anti-overdose drug as well as a 56 percent increase in usage in nearby Nashua.
Citizens in the community are doing their best to fight the rise in overdoses. New Hampshire resident John Burns gives Narcan demonstrations in which he shows people how to detect an overdose and how to administer the drug.
New England news station WMUR covered one of Burns’ demonstrations, pointing out that the Narcan advocate took up the cause after the drug saved his own daughter’s life. He was quoted as saying, “it’s important that we get the Narcan out there.”
I think it’s important that we get the Narcan out there. I think the state is dragging its feet. It’s important that this gets going.
The drug can be administered either through a nasal spray or an injection.