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The Lede. Got Naloxone?

The Lede, Thursday, April 5, 2018

By David Royse

Good day.

It’s the birthday of Bette Davis and Gregory Peck, Colin Powell and Booker T. Washington.

On April 5, 1968, the day after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Bobby Kennedy, at the time running for president, gave what would become a famous speech on violence in America, while speaking to a small crowd in Cleveland.

A couple of sentences:

“There is another kind of violence, slower but just as deadly, destructive as the shot or the bomb in the night. This is the violence of institutions; indifference and inaction and slow decay. This is the violence that afflicts the poor, that poisons relations between men because their skin has different colors. This is a slow destruction of a child by hunger, and schools without books and homes without heat in the winter.

This is the breaking of a man’s spirit by denying him the chance to stand as a father and as a man among other men. And this too afflicts us all.”

The New CPR

Has it really come to this?

Many of us learned CPR as part of our school curriculum. That was always comforting to me – not only could I help out in an emergency if needed, but if I keel over because of my intense appreciation for bacon and fried things, hopefully somebody else around was in that same class. (By the way, thanks Ms. Stone. If you can do chest compressions, thank a teacher!)

But now, the Surgeon General of the United States says some of us in the general public should be ready to take on another medical good Samaritan role – saving the people who OD.

The Surgeon General of the United States, the nation’s top medical officer, says more people ought to keep naloxone on hand. That’s the drug that can be an antidote to an opioid overdose.

“Each day we lose 115 Americans to an opioid overdose – that’s one person every 12.5 minutes,” said Surgeon General Jerome Adams in a statement put out by his office. “It is time to make sure more people have access to this lifesaving medication, because 77 percent of opioid overdose deaths occur outside of a medical setting and more than half occur at home.”

For a little context, Adams’ actual advisory doesn’t suggest that everybody should carry the antidote, but that people who may come into contact with people who overdose certainly should. That means those who know anyone with an addiction problem, but also even if you know somebody with a prescription for an opioid drug, you ought to carry naloxone, he says.

From the advisory:

“Research shows that when naloxone and overdose education are available to community members, overdose deaths decrease in those communities. Therefore, increasing the availability and targeted distribution of naloxone is a critical component of our efforts to reduce opioid-related overdose deaths and, when combined with the availability of effective treatment, to ending the opioid epidemic. In most states, people who are or who know someone at risk for opioid overdose can go to a pharmacy or community-based program, to get trained on naloxone administration, and receive naloxone by ‘standing order,’ i.e., without a patient-specific prescription.”

More from NPR and The Hill


Adams also says social media companies and ISPs can help blunt the effects of the opioid addiction crisis.

More context. Is the crisis getting better or worse? In New Jersey, anyway, it’s not good. The state is on pace for a terrible, record number of opioid deaths. Presumably, that’s at least somewhat predictive of the nation as a whole. NJAdvanceMedia


Will Government Try To Do Something About Facebook? Should it?


As Mark Zuckerberg prepares to head to Congress next week to speak about Facebook’s treatment of users’ data, AP wonders if the company could even be reined it if regulators decided to do so. “Facebook isn’t just a company. It’s a behemoth, with 2.1 billion monthly users…” Read the AP story


This is just inconceivable to me.

“San Francisco’s Median House Price Hits a New High: $1.6 Million.” WHAT? 

The story from Bloomberg

California lawmakers take a close look at when police should be able to fire shots, consider change. The story from Vox



Is expanding its trial of a subscription ridesharing service. LedeTree

Former Florida State University Kicker Richie Andrews
Has a design for a safer football helmet. DailyNole.com

Will feed “smart” parking information to renters through cars. GovTech

AMC Theaters
Will open up to 100 theaters in Saudi Arabia, which recently lifted a ban on movie theaters. LAT

Is funding STEM education with money saved on taxes. LedeTree

Florida Power & Light 
Expands its use of “solar trees” Florida Today

Will testify to Congress April 10 and 11. NPR
Got something you think I should cover here? Drop me a note: @daveroyse on Twitter or dave.royse@ledetree.com

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About David Royse

David Royse
David Royse is the Editor-in-Chief of Ledetree.com. He has been a professional journalist for more than 20 years, including stints with The Associated Press and The News Service of Florida. He enjoys writing about health and medical science, and hopeful stories about scientific breakthroughs and new technology.

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