‘There’s no downside to having it in the home’: City officials give demo on opioid overdose reversal drug

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NEW ORLEANS -- The number of drug overdoses in New Orleans surpassed the number of murders last year. It's likely the first time in the city's history that this has happened.

That's just one reason why the New Orleans Health Department and the New Orleans Behavioral Health Council hosted a behavioral health public forum on Thursday, which included a naloxone demonstration.

Naloxone, also commonly refereed to as Narcan, reverses the effects of an opioid overdose.

Dr. Joseph Kanter, medical director of the New Orleans Health Department, did the demonstration.

"This is a completely harmless drug, it is non-addictive and its only purpose is to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose," said Kanter.

It is over-the-counter, and some versions of the drug are covered by Medicaid.

"There are two nasal sprays, and one in the format similar to an Epipen," Kanter said. "It is recommended that families of addicts keep it on hand, in the event a loved one overdoses. It gives you about 30 minutes of valuable time to then get your loved one to a hospital and treat them for their overdose."

"There's no downside to having naloxone in the home," he said.