WHO Recommends Expanding Access to Naloxone to Reduce Opioid-Related Deaths

November 05, 2014|11:28 a.m.| ASTHO Staff

Globally, opioid overdose is responsible for an estimated 69,000 deaths each year. The World Health Organization (WHO) yesterday released recommended guidelines to make naloxone, used to counter overdoses of heroin and prescription opioids, accessible beyond medical care settings.

In most countries, naloxone use is limited to hospitals and ambulance crews. The new guidelines would put the overdose-countering drug in the hands of people using opioids, their family and friends, and anyone likely to witness an opioid overdose.

Addiction experts say the wider availability of naloxone, as well as training in its use, will help save more lives among heroin addicts. The drug also counters overdose effects of prescription opioid misuse.

Reuters published a news article on the guidelines, and the full report from WHO is also available.