The first opioid overdose treatment device designed to be administered by family members, or caregivers was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on April 3, 2014. The device, named Evizio, contains the drug naloxone, an opiate antagonist.
Naloxone is a drug for opiate overdoses, and quickly reverses its effects. The use of that drug is by way of syringe, and mostly used by trained medical professionals as found in emergency room departments, and on board ambulances. However, having the person wait for an ambulance, or taken to a hospital chews up precious minutes before the drug can be injected into the patient. By that time, brain damage could occur from lack of oxygen, and of course death may follow. Evizio can be administered outside of a healthcare setting saving time, and reversing the chaos an overdose may cause.
“Evzio is the first combination drug-device product designed to deliver a dose of naloxone for administration outside of a health care setting. Making this product available could save lives by facilitating earlier use of the drug in emergency situations,” states Bob Rappaport, M.D., director of the Division of Anesthesia, Analgesia, and Addiction Products in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, according to the FDA's news release.
Drug overdose deaths have increased steadily over the past ten years, and prescription drugs are playing a leading role. In 2010 alone, prescription drugs were responsible for 16,651 deaths while heroin related deaths amounted to aproximately 3,036 in the United States.
There are people opposed to making this drug available to families, and other caregivers. They believe it will encourage opioid use knowing the antidote is close at hand. However, making this drug available is the right way to go, and the FDA has taken that step in helping to prevent scores of future deaths. Evizio is available by prescription only, but will have a positive impact on overdoses nationwide.
Just ask any family members who lost a loved one from an opioid overdose if making that drug available to them, and others before their tragedy struck would not have been the right thing to do. And for those yet to experience the pain, anguish, and nightmare of losing a loved one to a drug overdose, they to would want that chance to save their life.
Highlights of Evizio prescribing information.
If you or a loved one needs help with any type of drug abuse/addiction problem, contact these sites depending on where you live. SEMCA (Wayne County residents), CARE (Macomb County residents), PACE (Oakland County residents), Drug Free Detroit (City of Detroit residents). For those residing outside the State of Michigan, contact SAMHSA for assistance. For assistance with medical marijuana issues contact The Michigan Medical Marijuana Association, Michigan Medical Marijuana Certification Center, or greentreesdetroit.com, phone number: (313) 967-9999, or (248) 677-2888. Substance abuse and mental health treatment locator here: SAMSHA.