Abuse and addiction to Opioids have reached an all-time record in America. The word “epidemic” is often used to describe the situation.
In Texas, things are no different. In 2014 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, says there were over 2,600 drug overdose deaths here in Texas. In 2015, state lawmakers passed a bill aimed at curbing those overdoses. Officials at the University of Texas at Austin are also trying their best to fight Opioid abuse.
Operation Naloxone is a student-led training program. Its goal is to allow Texas pharmacies to hold standing orders of Naloxone - a drug which reverses opiate overdoses.
Monday KVUE spoke with Professor Lori Holleran-Steiker about the project.
“We're not just talking about heroin and IV drug use. We're talking about substances that are very often prescribed by doctors as pain medicine,” Hollran-Steiker said.
Opioid abuse is common among young adults. Resident Assistants at UT are trained to keep the nasal spray form of Naloxone on-hand for students. The spray gives anyone overdosing 90 minutes of normal breathing to get medical attention, UT School officials say.
“There’s no doubt in my mind that this epidemic is kept very quiet because of the stigma that’s attached to substance misuse disorders.,” Holleran-Steiker said.
Naloxine is covered under UT Insurance and can be picked up at the Forty Acres Pharmacy without an individual prescription. Texas Walgreens and CVS Pharmacies have obtained standing orders for Naloxone.
Wednesday The Austin Film Festival will debut the movie ‘Dr. Feelgood directed by Eve Marson. The movie explores America’s Opioid abuse problem.
For more information on how to get help if you or someone is struggling with Opioid abuse, go here.