Yes. In November 2015, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Narcan Nasal Spray for the emergency treatment of known or suspected opioid overdose. Prior to November 2015, naloxone was FDA-approved only as an injection. See the highlights of prescribing information.
Health care providers wrote 259 million prescriptions for opioid pain medications in 2012 – enough for every American adult to have a bottle of pills. Opioids are a class of prescription pain medications that includes hydrocodone, oxycodone, morphine, and methadone. Heroin belongs to the same class of drugs, and four in five heroin users started out by misusing prescription opioid pain medications.
Claiming nearly 120 American lives daily, drug overdose is a true national crisis. The main driver of this epidemic is opioid overdose (OOD), which cuts across class, race, and demographic characteristics. Certain groups, including veterans, residents of rural and tribal areas, recently released inmates, and people completing drug treatment/detox programs are at an especially high risk of opioid overdose. Law enforcement officers are on the front lines of the battle against drug-related harm in our communities. The current opioid overdose crisis is no different.
As of March 2017, law enforcement agencies in at least 38 states have implemented naloxone programs. For a list of law enforcement agencies who have implemented programs, please visit the North Carolina's Harm Reduction Coalition web site.
First and foremost, an overdose reversal program offers a potential lifesaving opportunity. Additionally, individual officers have cited improved job satisfaction rooted in an improved ability to “do something” at the scene of an overdose. Law enforcement agencies that have implemented an overdose reversal program report improved community relations, leading to better intelligence-gathering capabilities.