The auto-injector is designed to allow quick administration when drug overdose first occurs
LOS ANGELES, April 8, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Family members and caregivers of individuals with opiate drug addiction problems heaved a sigh of relief earlier this month when the FDA announced it was issuing fast-track approval to Evzio (naloxone hydrochloride), an injectable medication that can be administered to someone who is known or suspected to have had an overdose of opiates. The drug will be offered in an auto-injector to make it easier for untrained individuals to administer the drug in the event of an overdose.
Naloxone works to help reverse the effects of opioid overdose and has been widely used by medical professionals in heroin treatment and other overdose situations. Deaths from drug overdoses are now the leading cause of injury-related death in the U.S., having steadily increased over the past 10 years. Just last month, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick declared a state of emergency in response to increasing numbers of overdoses in the state.
Although the move by the FDA has met with overall approval by many leading drug treatment specialists, there is some concern that reliance on the medication to treat addicts may in some way delay the pursuit of other options that can help address the root causes of addiction.
“The hope is that by making Naloxone more available, it will help save lives when used responsibly,” said Michael H. Lowenstein, M.D., director of the Waismann Method™, a leading provider of advanced treatment for opiate dependence and rapid detox located in Southern California. “Certainly, its use has risks, but at this particular moment in time when drug epidemics and overdoses are rampant in many parts of the country, the benefits appear to significantly outweigh those risks.
“In addition to the risks of having untrained people administering the antidote, one of the concerns is that some individuals may consider the use of Naloxone as a sort of ‘quick fix’ which may diminish the urgency underlying the need for more permanent solutions to drug use and abuse,” he added. To achieve a more permanent solution, Lowenstein says there is a clear need for support services in addition to greater compassion and understanding for those dealing with drug abuse – whether that means the abuser or the abuser’s loved ones.
Lowenstein and colleagues Cliff Bernstein M.D. and registered addiction specialist Clare Waismann operate a leading opiate treatment program in an accredited hospital which is positioned to offer specialized care for patients with specific medical and dependency needs, including high-risk patients and long-time abusers of painkillers and other substances. For 15 years, the Waismann Institute has been considered the premier Rapid Opiate Detox Center in the country by successfully treating thousands of patients from all over the world in its facility located only in Southern California.
“At our center, we believe it treating the individual with a compassionate approach that supports rather than judges,” Lowenstein said. “From heroin treatment to the abuse of painkillers, we approach each of our patients one-on-one to craft a custom program of care aimed at the success of the individual throughout his or her life.”
Waismann Method Rapid Opiate Detox Center
The Waismann Method ® is an advanced treatment for opioid dependence which is based on treating an individual patient’s unique needs as determined through thorough medical, psychological and social assessments. The center offers a range of confidential, personalized treatment and aftercare options, including rapid opiate detoxification under sedation, medically-assisted detoxification and other forms of treatment.