NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Tennessee has taken significant steps to make Narcan more accessible.
As many police departments and emergency responders begin to carry the anti-overdose medication, will we now start to see Narcan become part of workplace first-aid plans?
Gerard Stranch, the managing partner for the law firm Branstetter, Stranch and Jennings, has tackled some tough opioid cases in Tennessee.
He told News 2 he believes making Narcan, the emergency treatment for an opioid overdose, more accessible will save a lot of lives.
“We know that it is out there in the community whether we like it or not. Despite who ever we want to blame for the problem, it is there and we have an obligation to do something about it. Narcan is not super expensive, and it is a life saver for somebody who has too many opioids in their system and I think every fire department and every police department should absolutely have it,” said Stranch.
Family physician Dr. Nedra Jackson told News 2 in order for that to happen, employees would have to trained on how to administer the treatment and to know when it is the best course of action.
“If a patient is in respiratory depression, or has a history of that, of if they could easily stop breathing, we are advised not to write them Narcan,” said Dr. Jackson.
Stranch believes we may see even more employers carry Narcan in the future.
“I think it should be done. Just like we put the paddles that people use to shock the heart when someone has a heart attack in an airports and shopping malls and in gyms. We should have Narcan available in those places as well so that if someone begins to overdose, a trained person can give them the Narcan,” said Stranch.
Drug overdose is now one of the top causes of death in Tennessee. The CDC reports that for every overdose death in the U.S., a person taking opioids on average will overdose nine times.