Co-Prescribing Naloxone

There is an excellent post over on The Incidental Economist outlining the rise in Naloxone co-prescribing under various state statutory regimes encouraging or even requiring it. 

This answers some questions that have been on my mind since I opened a bag of post-surgical medications this summer to find, along with antibiotics and painkillers, some Naloxone.  The discharge nurse breezed past it, not reviewing use or dosage as she had with all the other medications.  I wondered if this was because she had encountered pushback from other patients such as "I don't need that."

The post, and my experience with the implementation of the California statute requiring such prescription to accompany one for certain high dose narcotic painkillers, made we wonder if just getting Naloxone in someone's hands is enough to really make a difference on overdose prevention.  If you are barely aware you have the Naloxone prescription and are completely unaware how to use it, will you be likely to use it?

My Naloxone has been sitting on the corner of my desk for a few months– an attempt at a visual reminder to learn more about how to use it. It remains unused and unopened, just like the opioid painkillers that accompanied it.   But have I learned more about how to use it, perhaps to help someone else with it? No, I have not.

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