The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is urging the widespread use of the prescription drug naloxone to help reduce the number of overdose deaths from opioid drugs. Opioids are the class of drugs that includes street drugs like heroin as well as prescription drugs like Vicodin and OxyContin, and Percocet. It was found that in the areas where naloxone use was more widespread, the rate of opioid overdose related deaths declined significantly. Many states have been increasing the use of intranasal naloxone
by first responders, but this has not been universally adopted. Each year, 8000 die from heroin overdose and another 16000 die from prescription opioid overdose. The greatest concern seems to be regarding the prescription opioid deaths as this is more likely to occur in rural and suburban areas where heroin overdose is more common in urban areas. However, the concentration of naloxone use tends to be in urban areas due to population concentrations and illicit drug use trends. According to the CDC, naloxone was most likely to be given to women ages 20-29 living in suburban areas. The rates of opioid overdose
death in these areas are 45% higher than in urban areas. Many of these deaths could be prevented by increasing the use of intranasal naloxone by first responders.