Skip to content Skip to footer

FDA Approves Innovative New Device to Reverse Opiate Overdose

The Drug Policy Alliance praised the FDA for continuing to address the opiate overdose problem in the US.

When Activated, Handheld Device Gives Verbal Instructions and Administers OverdoseAntidote Naloxone

Dramatic Increase in Overdose Deaths Sparks National Momentum Toward Health-Based Drug Policies

The Drug Policy Alliance praised the FDA for continuing to address the opiate overdose problem in the U.S. “We applaud the FDA making naloxone more available among people in a position to prevent opiate deaths and save lives,” said Meghan Ralston, harm reduction manager for the Drug Policy Alliance. “While any new technology that makes using naloxone more user-friendly is a welcome development, intramusucular and intranasal forms of naloxone continue to remain available and affordable. We encourage people to acquire whichever form of naloxone is most convenient and affordable for them. And we encourage the manufacturers to ensure the affordability of this life-saving product,” added Ralston.

Seventeen states and the District of Columbia have recently amended their laws to increase access to naloxone – with DPAspearheading many of these efforts – resulting in more than 10,000 overdose reversals since 2001. States like Washington and Rhode Island are already helping to make naloxone more readily available in pharmacies to people who may witness an overdose, and a bill in California by Assemblymember Richard Bloom to similarly expand naloxone access in pharmacies is currently being considered by the legislature.

Naloxone hydrochloride, also known as Narcan, was first approved to reverse opiate overdose by the FDA in the early 1970s. It is usually administered by syringe, as either an intramuscular injection, or intranasally, with a nasal atomizerdevice attached to the syringe, making it possible to spray naloxone nasally. Naloxone works quickly, usually within minutes, but will not reverse overdoses caused by substances other than opiates. Ralston encourages people to call 911 or seek immediate medical attention if they suspect they are witnessing an overdose.

Ralston explained, “Even under the best circumstances, when naloxone is available and used effectively, medical attention may still be necessary. Calling 911 is always recommended in any potentially life-threatening situation.” Fifteen states and D.C. now have ‘911 Good Samaritan’ laws, which provide limited protections from arrest or prosecution for minor drug law violations for people who summon help to the scene of a suspected overdose.

“If this new device helps some people feel more comfortable and confident about using naloxone during a time when they may be panicking, that can only be a good thing. We hope a variety of pharmacies will carry a full range of affordable naloxone products,” said Ralston.

Link to the release.

Briefly, we wanted to update you on where Truthout stands this month.

To be brutally honest, Truthout is behind on our fundraising goals for the year. There are a lot of reasons why. We’re dealing with broad trends in our industry, trends that have led publications like Vice, BuzzFeed, and National Geographic to make painful cuts. Everyone is feeling the squeeze of inflation. And despite its lasting importance, news readership is declining.

To ensure we stay out of the red by the end of the year, we have a long way to go. Our future is threatened.

We’ve stayed online over two decades thanks to the support of our readers. Because you believe in the power of our work, share our transformative stories, and give to keep us going strong, we know we can make it through this tough moment.

At this moment, we have 72 hours left in our important fundraising campaign, and we still must raise $31,000. Please consider making a donation today.