It’s National Recovery Month – Here’s How You Can Help

It’s National Recovery Month – Here’s How You Can Help

September 15, 2020

September is Recovery Month! Today in the United States, over 2 million Americans are addicted to prescription and non-prescription opioids. More than 130 American’s die every single day from an opioid overdose. That means an American dies every 12 minutes from an overdose of opioids. I hope that one day that statistic is rewritten to read “every 12 minutes, an American enters recovery from substance use disorder.”

So, what can YOU do to combat the opioid epidemic, and help those striving to reach long term recovery?

One simple way that you can help is by carrying Naloxone (Narcan)!

When an overdose occurs, the opioids attack receptors within your brain that control your ability to breathe…which can cause shortness of breath or stop breathing altogether. Naloxone is a drug that temporarily blocks those opioid receptors within the body and reverses an overdose in time for first responders to arrive. It literally brings a person back to life.

Whether or not someone accidentally ingested too much of a prescribed opioid, or intended to misuse a prescription or illicit opioid drug…there is very little time following an overdose to save someone’s life. Since emergency medical technicians can’t be everywhere, Naloxone provides every one of us with the ability to rescue someone while awaiting emergency medical assistance. Naloxone is a simple medication to administer. It is safe, nontoxic and when used correctly, it can instantly save a life.

If someone battling with substance use disorder finds themselves in an overdose situation, the first step in helping them to achieve long term recovery is saving their life. With appropriate follow-up, including a warm handoff to valuable addiction treatment, the use of Naloxone might not only save a life…but give that person the chance to regain control of their life.

Both the U.S. Surgeon General & me, Miss America 2020 – urge more Americans to carry naloxone and learn how to properly administer it! This is my Naloxone kit that I carry in my purse at all times. Carrying naloxone is like being CPR & First Aid trained…you never know when you might need to jump into action and save someone’s life.

So where can YOU get Naloxone?

OPTION 1: From your local pharmacy

Naloxone is available without a prescription in most states. Ask your pharmacist for Naloxone! It may be covered by your insurance, or you may need to purchase the medication. Your pharmacist will also be able to teach you how to use the medication they dispense to you.

OPTION 2: From your health department

Many local health departments will provide residents with Naloxone at no cost. Search “{your county} health department naloxone” for best results. The health agency will likely also provide training to teach you to administer the medication.

OPTION 3: Find a Narcan distribution event

Narcan distribution events happen nationwide and are usually sponsored by local health agencies or hospitals. Keep an eye out for these events, where Narcan is usually free of charge. Search “Naloxone distribution {your town}” for the best results.

Thank you for taking the initiative to get your own Naloxone, and help save a life!

Until next week,