Evzio Helps Families Treat Overdosing Loved Ones - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

Evzio Helps Families Treat Overdosing Loved Ones

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47 ABC - The FDA approved a prescription drug this Thursday, that will allow loved ones to have and administer medicine for over dosing individuals.

The drug Evzio, which will be available this summer, can help block the effects of opioids on the system.  Evzio contains the same drug first responders use on the scene of a suspected overdose.  It will be available through prescription, to those ordered to take highly addictive drugs such as opium, as a safety precaution.

The drug will be similar to an epipen, where medicine is administered to the thigh. Much like an AED, it will give easy, spoken instructions.

Salisbury Fire Department Lieutenant Chris Truitt says, the speed of treatment is the most important factor in saving lives. "The main goal is to get the breathing back, and to make sure their oxygen levels are back up, because the worst {scenario} would be brain damage due to hypoxia. Even if its thirty seconds before someone administers it, there's going to be some deficit," he says.

But, the drug is only for those who are already prescribed these addicting opioids, and not those otherwise addicted.  Truitt says, the majority of cases called in, are from those using drug illegally.  Since January of this year, 25 calls have come in to the Salisbury Fire Department for overdoses.  10 of those cases ended in fatalities.  

Truitt says, they are making strides to lowering those numbers.  "We are working with the health department and with the states narcotics task force to try to do a better job at tracking the number of overdoses and potential overdoses.  And hopefully get ahead of this before it gets too bad," he says.

According to the FDA, drug overdose has surpassed car accidents as the leading cause of death in the U-S.  More than 16,000 Americans die each year from prescription opioid overdose.

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