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With some questionable health advice being posted by your friends on Facebook, politicians arguing about the state of the American healthcare system and a new medical study being summarized in just a sentence or two on TV---that seems to contradict the study you heard summarized yesterday---it can be overwhelming to navigate the ever-changing landscape of health news.

To Your Health: Overdose Prevention

Perhaps with more people staying home from parties this year, drunk driving will be less of a problem on new year’s eve. However, the risk of overdose can be reduced on the 31st, and year round through expanded access to overdose education and naloxone, public awareness, assessment, and referral to treatment according to The Missouri Opioid-Heroin Overdose Prevention and Education (MO-HOPE) Project.

The National Harm Reduction Coalition states opioid overdoses happen when there are so many opioids or a combination of opioids and other drugs in the body that the victim is not responsive to stimulation and/or breathing is inadequate. Within 3-5 minutes without oxygen, brain damage starts to occur, soon followed by death. Often, there is time to intervene between when an overdose starts and before a victim dies.

Having naloxone on hand can save a life.  Any person who asks for this drug, also known as Narcan, from a pharmacy can purchase it, with or without a prescription. If you suspect someone has overdosed, administer naloxone and call 9-1-1. Missouri’s 911 Good Samaritan Law protects the person who actively seeks emergency medical help in the instance of an overdose and the person experiencing the medical emergency.


Dr. Brooke Hildebrand Clubbs is an assistant professor in the Department of Leadership, Middle & Secondary Education. She writes for special publications of The Southeast Missourian and is a certified Community Health Worker.
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