Tennessee mothers who lost children to fentanyl react to over-the-counter Narcan medicine

The Food and Drug Administration has approved Narcan, or naloxone, for over-the-counter use. It’s a move experts say should increase access to the critical drug.

Emergent BioSolutions is a company that sells life-saving medicines. He plans to charge two doses of the opioid overdose recovery drug for less than $50.

The approval means the rescue drug can be sold in places like convenience stores, grocery stores and vending machines in addition to drugstores.

Over-the-counter Narcan comes in two 4-milligram doses, as a nasal spray.

It is expected to come in a large box with pictures and detailed instructions to help people take the medicine easily.

According to the CDC, more than 150 people die every day in the United States related to synthetic opioids like fentanyl.

In Tennessee, the numbers are shocking. Fentanyl deaths in the state rose 446 percent from 2017 to 2021, according to data from the Tennessee Department of Health (TDH).

From 2017 to 2020, it increased 144% from the previous data.

Margaret Fulham and Lisa Jarvis each lost their children to fentanyl overdoses. They were each mother’s only child.

Alison Fullam was 26 years old when she lost her life. Alison was found dead in her family’s home with pills laced with fentanyl three times the lethal limit.

Lisa Jarvis loses her son Logan who struggles with severe depression and turns to drugs to comfort himself.

Lisa says he didn’t know he was taking fentanyl when he died at age 24.

We didn’t have Narcan or naloxone or anything in our house and Logan died in our house, Lisa said, “You never know who you’re going to meet.

Lisa says that she has now brought life saving medicine.

I wish more people could get their hands on it. “Especially if you know you’re going to experiment with things,” says Fulham.

Angie Cash of Marion County lost her only son, Trace Dotson, to fentanyl poisoning on December 30, 2022.

He was only 26 years old. A little hesitant at first, Cash said, she saw the benefits of easy access to Narcan.

I see the benefit now. Of course I do,” says Cash

“If you asked me that a year ago, I’d say, oh, I don’t know about this, does it encourage? I had a slightly different opinion about it, I think it’s great,” he says. Cash.

Kendall Morgan, Hamilton County’s regional overdose prevention specialist, said the latest data from 2021 shows just how deadly fentanyl can be.

“Almost three out of four fatal overdoses involve fentanyl. When you compare fentanyl to heroin, it’s 50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times more potent than morphine,” Morgan says.

Morgan said fentanyl is made in a lab, which makes it very dangerous when it comes to contact.



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