Government asks doctors to prescribe overdose reversal drug with opioids

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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) - The Associated Press reports the government is urging doctors to consider prescribe the overdose reversal drug while prescribing narcotics.

Matthew Larsen, an emergency room physician, said that there's an estimated 45,000 to 60,000 people dying of narcotic related overdoses in a year.

"This is part of the response and a discussion around, should the antidote, Narcan or Naloxone, which blocks the receptors for narcotics and will counter effects of narcotic, should it be prescribed when narcotic prescriptions are given," he said.

Since late 2017, Twin Falls Police have adnimisteted Narcan 16 times in 15 months.

"Seems a little high for a community our size. That's only the deployments with the Twin Falls Police Department, that doesn't need take into account the deployments from Magic Valley Paramedics," said Sgt. Brent Wright, with Twin Falls Police.

However the conversation of prescribing Naxolone is just that — a conversation.

"The prescribing of Narcan with a narcotic prescription doesn't take into account to those who are getting illicit narcotics, and would need Narcan for heroin, illicit fentanyl and illicit prescriptions that are not prescribed," Larsen said.

He said that Narcna is in some pharmacies and with some local first responders.

"I think that Narcan access and availability is a good thing. I think we can't make that be the policy, it can be part of the policy in how we attack this narcotic epidemic," he said.

While there is an epidemic, Wright hopes to have more information in their second year of use.

"We'll be able to look at it and see if we're seeing an increase or if the problem is getting worse or if we're having less deployments, which will hopefully indicate the problem is improving," he said.

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