U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams visited Florence, Kentucky today [Monday] to urge all Americans who are in contact with someone abusing opioids to learn how to administer the overdose drug, Naloxone.
Adams wants to expand the number of people trained to use the drug. He also supports expanding harm reduction clinics, such as needle exchange programs. The number of needle exchanges has grown in much of the Ohio Valley, especially Kentucky. Other communities, such as Charleston, West Virginia, are pushing against such measures amid complaints about cost and repeated emergency overdose calls draining resources.
Adams says he understands the challenge of reviving the same people over and over again.
“I get the frustration amongst folks about continuing to resuscitate individuals. I have asthma. I have had to be resuscitated several times in my life. I’m very glad no one gave up on me.”
Adams, who spoke at the Northern Kentucky Health Department, says Naloxone is often covered through private health insurance. In Kentucky, pharmacists can write a prescription for the drug which often carries the brand name Narcan.