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WHO Issues Guidelines for Increased Access to Naloxone

WHO Issues Guidelines for Increased Access to Naloxone

The World Health Organization (WHO) has recently issued guidelines to make naloxone, an opioid antagonist used to prevent overdoses, more available. 


Hospital, first response, and emergency care workers as well as state and local police agencies currently have access to naloxone, which has saved over ten thousand lives between 2006 and 2010 (Gaita, 2014). The WHO’s guidelines recommend giving individuals access to naloxone, which could potentially help save more than twenty thousand lives per year. 


“If opioids are easily available in people’s bathroom cabinets,” says WHO expert Nicolas Clark, “it might make sense for naloxone to be equally available” (Gaita, 2014). 


While it has gained support from peer groups, naloxone access in the United States remains restricted because of “laws that do not protect medical providers from liability” (Gaita, 2014). 


Gaita, P. (2014). WHO wants expanded access to naloxone to fight overdoses. Retrieved from http://www.thefix.com/content/who-wants-expanded-access-naloxone-fight-overdoses