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Surgeon General Talks About Need To 'Normalize' Naloxone At N.H. Opioids Forum

Josh Rogers for NHPR
U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams demonstrates treating with Naloxone at a forum in Concord, N.H.

U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams stressed the role the overdose reversing drug Naloxone needs to play in reducing opioid deaths. Adams was in Concord to address an opioid forum convened by Dartmouth-Hitchcock.

Adams told a ballroom full of people steeped in New Hampshire's opioid epidemic that a lethal drug overdose takes place every 11 seconds in America, and that 50 percent of them happen at home.

Adams says the numbers underscore the need for more people to make a habit of carrying medicine that can undo overdoses.

"No. 1, you can save a life. No. 2, you can normalize it. I've heard these stories of folks going into pharmacies and asking for Naloxone and the person at the front counter being like, what do you need that for? Stigma, again, is the biggest killer out there."

Adams then demonstrated how to treat an overdosed person with the drug.

He called for communities to form partnerships involving heath care organizations, law enforcement, businesses and faith groups to get people better access to treatment based on science.

Josh has worked at NHPR since 2000.

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