New Orleans sees increasing opiate overdoses
NEW ORLEANS - New Orleans officials say the city is seeing an increase in heroin- and opiate-related overdoses - and at least seven deaths have been attributed to the problem in January alone.
City health officials said Friday they have issued an order making a drug to treat such overdoses available over-the-counter. The aim is to make the drug more easily available to friends and relatives of heroin addicts.
The drug is naloxone - often referred to by the brand name Narcan.
At a news conference Friday, Dr. Jeffrey Elder, the director of New Orleans Emergency Medical Services, said opiate-related overdose cases have grown in recent weeks. They have increased from an average of just over two a day to four or five a day - hitting 10 on some days.