U.S. Surgeon General Issues National Advisory on Naloxone Use and Availability

On Thursday, U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams issued a national public health advisory urging more Americans to keep on hand and learn how to use effectively the opioid antidote naloxone. While many first responders carry naloxone, the advisory suggests family, friends, and those who are personally at risk of an opioid overdose to ensure the antidote drug is readily available.

Since 2010, U.S. opioid overdose deaths have doubled from more than 21,000 to more than 42,000 in 2016, and the most significant increase has occurred among deaths related to illicit fentanyl and other synthetic opioids. Surgeon General Adams noted that an average of 115 Americans die per day due to opioid overdose, and the widespread availability and effective use of naloxone in overdose instances can save lives.

This is the first U.S. Surgeon General public health advisory issued since 2005, and the advisory comes as part of the Trump Administration’s broader ongoing effort to address the nationwide opioid epidemic. The Trump Administration has indicated naloxone availability and use is a key part of its response, along with prevention, treatment, recovery, and law enforcement strategies.

The full U.S. Surgeon General advisory is available here.