Give it to them! –
July 22, 2020 – Nearly 71,000 Americans died of drug overdoses last year, a new record driven in part by fentanyl and other illegal opioids.
State and local officials have been handing out naloxone to police, first responders and families of people with a history of drug addiction in an attempt to reverse the multi-decade wave of opioid overdoses. Critics of the practice argue that giving it to pain patients does not address the growing share of fatal overdoses caused by illicit opioids.
Opioid medications can be addictive and dangerous even when used under doctors’ orders, though they are also an accepted tool to treat severe pain from serious injuries, surgery and cancer. Prescriptions have been falling in the U.S. since 2012, pressured by new laws and prescribing limits from state and local governments, insurers and hospital systems. Those limits restrict the number of pills, refills and who can prescribe opioids.