NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Recovery experts agree that expanding access to the overdose-reversing drug, Narcan, will save more lives, but some first responders worry it could enable addicts.
“As someone who works in the community and deals with populations who struggle with addiction, we are always pushing that increased access [to Narcan] is always going to save lives,” said Jordana Latozas, president and founder of the Recovery Mobile Clinic.
Latozas told News Channel 11’s sister station in Nashville that drugs like fentanyl, xylazine, and other potent synthetic opioids from China are being mixed into the supply, greatly increasing the risk of an overdose, which is why more people should keep Narcan on hand for emergencies.
However, Sumner County EMS Capt. Jackson Boyd worries users could view over-the-counter Narcan as a safety net.
“We feel that it will be a potential scapegoat that the habitual users will continue to use because they know they have the Narcan available to them,” Boyd said.
First responders have reported administering Narcan to the same patient multiple times.
However, Latozas believes Narcan could give someone who overdosed a chance at recovery they wouldn’t have had otherwise.
“Narcan is not used as an excuse or allotment or encouragement to use medications that are going to cause an overdose,” Latozas said. “It doesn’t really work that way. It’s a very uncomfortable situation. It purely is there to save a life and to allow someone who is potentially struggling to learn from that situation.”
Experts encouraged those who keep Narcan on hand to receive training on how to administer it.
For Narcan training resources, click here.