Top seven myths about drug overdose antidote, naloxone

April 2014

"With fatalities from heroin and prescription drugs still on the rise, naloxone, an opiate reversal medication, has become an increasingly popular method to prevent overdose death.

Paramedics have used naloxone since the 1960s to block the effect of opiate drugs and restore normal breathing patterns to someone experiencing an overdose, but since 1996, community groups have also trained active drug users and their loved ones on how to respond to opiate overdose with naloxone. Today, naloxone's popularity has spread to parent groups who encourage other parents to keep naloxone on hand if their child is using drugs, law enforcement departments who see a chance to administer the antidote before paramedics arrive, and medical providers who are co-prescribing naloxone to their patients who use opioid medications. But despite more widespread use of naloxone, many myths still exist about its use and implications."

Tessie Castillo, writing for the Huffington Post, examines and debunks the following myths in her article:

Myth #1: If you give an overdose antidote to drug users, they will abuse more drugs.

Myth #2: We can't trust a person who is high to respond appropriately in a life-threatening situation.

Myth #3: Naloxone will keep drug users from seeking treatment.

Myth #4: Naloxone makes people violent.

Myth #5: Naloxone can give people heart attacks.

Myth #6: Intramuscular naloxone isn't safe.

Myth #7: Naloxone loses effectiveness under high temperatures.