On Tuesday Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-WV., visited the Bluefield Rescue Squad to watch how Noxolone, a potential life-saving drug used to reverse the effects of opiod overdose, is administered to patients.
The visit comes after recently proposing the Co-Prescribing Saves Lives Act. An act aimed at encouraging doctors to prescribe Noxolone along with opiod prescriptions. It’s also aimed at making the drug more widely available to community health centers and hospitals.
“We’ve got a huge drug epidemic a huge growth in heroin and drug overdoses,” Sen. Capito said. “It could save lives this is about saving lives today and we learned today that there’s going to be a larger supply of this while the drug epidemic is deeply troublesome we could save lives and hopefully get them on the road to recovery that’s what this is about.”
Sean Cantrell is an emergency medical services worker with the Bluefield Rescue squad who demonstrated how the drug is used in the field. He says the drug blocks opiod receptors in the body and takes the effects of pain medicine away.
“This drug can actually bring someone back to life from near death experiences. This drug has no side effects really, if you give it to someone it wont hurt them,” said Cantrell. “Administering the drug is fairly simple, basically what you do is empty the drug into a syringe and then insert it into the patients nostrils one after the other,” Cantrell added.
Sen. Capito says making the drug widely available is an important step in combating the opiod and heroin abuse epidemic here in the mountain state and across the U.S.
“Some day hopefully we can have a medication that alleviates your pain that’s not addictive that would be a long way going toward helping solve this problem,” Sen. Capito said.
The Co-Prescribing saves Lives Act is currently on its way to the Senate floor for a vote.