LACONIA — Deputy Fire Chief Shawn Riley said yesterday that he applauds Gov. Maggie Hassan for signing HB 271 that will allow Narcan, a common opiate antidote, to be sold by prescription.
Riley said he supports family members of opiate addicts being able to access the drug with the guidance and permission of their family practitioners and this access may help those people get their loved ones into treatment.
He said people who administer Narcan to an overdose victim must remember two things — that the victim will be in immediate withdrawal once the Narcan takes effect and that, when all is said and done, the victim will still be an opiate addict.
Riley said Narcan prescriptions are one more tool in the toolbox used to fight heroin and opiate addiction and he is grateful for all the governor has done for addiction in the state.
What Riley hopes to see is that if people should have to administer Narcan to someone, that they still call 911.
He said the victim should still be seem immediately by a trained EMT or paramedic because sometimes the heroin dose will last longer than the Narcan and the person could still die, that sometimes the heroin is laced with fentanyl and is more powerful than one shot of Narcan, and that there is also the possibility that the victim may have suffered a stroke or be in cardiac arrest — something Narcan won't help.
Riley said there are three ways Narcan can be administered — by nasal inhalation, by muscular injection, and intravenously. AS for what first responders will do, he said it depends on the circumstance and the patient.
He said yesterday that if loved ones get a Narcan prescription from their physician to make sure they are trained in how to use it. He said anyone who gets a prescription and is unsure, can come to the Fire Department and trained personnel will work with them.
CAPTION: Laconia Fire Department Deputy Chief Shawn Riley demonstrates a Narcan inhaler and how it is used. (Laconia Daily Sun photo/Gail Ober)
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