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Nashville drug overdoses spike again. Can we blame coronavirus?

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Mike Osborne)  --  The number of drug overdoses Nashville’s first responders treat continues to rise, and the pandemic isn’t helping.

The number of times Metro Fire and Rescue administered the drug Naloxone to reverse overdoses was already up by 27 percent during the months of January and February over the same months last year.

First responders experienced another large spike in overdose calls as COVID-19 deaths began to spike. The use of Naloxone jumped 24 percent between February and March alone.

The anti-overdose drug’s use rose a whopping 84 percent between March of this year and the same month in 2019.

Naloxone, also known as Narcan, is a so-called “opioid antagonist.” Once administered, it can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose almost immediately.

Naloxone can be purchased over the counter in Tennessee, but the state requires training in its use. That training can be completed in 20 minutes online. Anyone struggling with addiction is encouraged to keep the medication on hand, as are family, friends and co-workers.

 

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