S4E33: Naloxone: The Life-Saving Tool You Should “Open Carry”

With the rise of fentanyl-laced drugs thought to be safe, the life you save could be closer to home than you think.

In This Episode:

  • 01:21 – Recipe: Butternut Macaroni and Cheese
  • 08:09 – The Life of Dolores Alexander, Feminist Journalist and Activist
  • 12:44 – Save a Life: Consider Carrying Naloxone
  • 39:29 – Dementia Eyes
  • 42:40 – Outro

Drug overdose deaths reached another record level in the United States this spring, data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows, as 2023 is on track to be another devastating year amid the drug epidemic. More than 111,000 people died from a drug overdose in the 12-month period ending in April. We discuss how naloxone can save the life of someone who has overdosed, and how empathy and education can help turn the tide and save a life.

So Many Opioid Deaths

Many of the overdose deaths have been driven by the trend to lace fentanyl in drugs for a bigger kick. Even marijuana can be spiked with a deadly dose of fentanyl.

2mg, the amount on the tip of this pencil, can be enough to kill an average American. Source: DEA One Pill Can Kill

With a prescription-drug opioid crisis, Mexican cartels have stepped up with fake pills that are often laced with fentanyl sourced from China.

The DEA Laboratory has found that, of the fentanyl-laced fake prescription pills analyzed, seven out of ten now contain a potentially lethal dose of fentanyl. Fentanyl is so powerful, even the amount that can fit in the tip of a pencil can be deadly.

Naloxone Saves Lives

Reversing Opoioid Overdoses with Lifesaving Naloxone - a fact sheet from the CDC.
Why Carry Naloxone facts
Signs of Opioid Overdose - CDC factsheet

Overcoming Barriers

We talk about perceived barriers to helping someone who has overdosed. Some may feel hesitancy due to the stigma: “they got themselves there.” Many medical emergencies such as a heart attack are downstream of life choices such as smoking, overweight, poor diet, but we train to help with CPR.

With empathy we realize substance use disorder is often downstream of trauma, chronic pain, and toxic stress, not to mention the first-time or casual users who get “bad” drugs.

Others might be afraid of consequences in helping. All but Kansas and Wyoming enacted statutes that provide criminal and civil liability protections to both first responders and laypersons who administer naloxone.

We also talk about safety considerations before and after administering the dose.

How to Use Naloxone

Here’s a quick video on how to use the nasal spray and put the unconscious person into a recovery position (as Marianne mentioned).

Where to Get Naloxone

We have some great resources for you! Next Distro has where you can get doses in your state as well as other resources.



Overlooked No More

We continue our series from New York times of overlooked obituaries, this time featuring Dolores Alexander, Feminist Journalist and Activist.

Dolores Alexander, Feminist Journalist and Activist. From New York Times

Dementia Eyes

Greg has been journaling about his experience with his wife living with Alzheimer’s, now receiving hospice support. He talks about the heartbreak of the blank stare as the disease progresses. “My beautiful girlfriend has blue eyes, gorgeous, blue eyes. But I can see through them.”

Recipe of the Week

An oval baking dish with creamy mac and cheese
Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese from Southern Living

Macaroni and cheese is always a favorite, but if you need to put a fall twist on it, how about a butternut squash base? The cubes are roasted then pureed with chicken broth. Sound good? Head to Southern Living for the full recipe!

We are also selected as one of the Top 50 Grief Blogs on the Web!

From Everyone Dies:

Everyone Dies: and yes, it is normal!

Everyone Dies (and yes, it is normal) is a story about a young boy named Jax who finds something special on the beach where he and his grandpa Pops are enjoying a wonderful day. Pops helps Jax understand that death is a normal part of life. This book provides an age appropriate, non-scary, comfortable way to introduce the important topic of mortality to a preschool child. Its simple explanation will last a lifetime. Autographed copies for sale at: www.everyonediesthebook.com. Also available at Amazon

Mourning Jewelry
mourning jewelry earings

We offer a way to memorialize your loved one or treasured pet with a piece of handmade jewelry.  When people comment on it and the wearer can say for example “I received this when my mother died” which opens the conversation about this loss. All our jewelry is made with semi-precious stones and beads, vintage beads, and pearls. You can choose between earrings or bracelets and the color family. Learn More

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