The Framingham Fire Department received approval to begin to carry Narcan on Fire Apparatus. Narcan (naloxone) is an opiate antidote. Opioids include heroin and prescription pain medications like morphine, codeine, oxycodone, methadone and Vicodin.
Over the past 10 years heroin and opiate-based overdoses have increased significantly and is one of the leading causes of death in Massachusetts according to the Department of Health. Gov. Deval Patrick recently declared a public health emergency as the state, like much of the northeast U.S., is dealing with an epidemic of heroin and opiate-based prescription drug abuse.
When a person overdoses on an opioid, breathing can slow down or stop and it can be very hard to wake them from this state. Narcan is a prescription medication that blocks the effects of opioids and reverses an overdose. Narcan generally begins to work in approximately five minutes, however repeat doses may be necessary if a person is still showing signs of overdoes even after the first dose.
For more information, view framingham.patch.com