Recovery advocates warn of critical shortage for overdose reversal drug
PORTLAND, Maine (WMTW) - Supply chain issues have created a nationwide shortage of the crucial overdose reversal drug naloxone, Maine recovery experts warned on Wednesday.
The effect is felt even harder as it comes at a time when drug overdose deaths are up, officials said.
Naloxone, often known by the brand name Narcan, can reverse an overdose by blocking opioid receptors.
Drug-maker Pfizer’s website listed the injected version’s availability as “depleted.”
Addiction recovery experts in Portland say they should be able to get by for now using an intranasal version, but there is talk of rationing supplies.
“Right now there’s concern on the horizon, but no immediate crisis,” said Oliver Bradeen, the executive director of Milestone Recovery. “Everyone is trying to plan ahead to make sure that we don’t get to emergency levels of naloxone.”
Deadly overdoses surged last year during the pandemic, reaching their highest levels ever recorded.
In the U.S., 93,000 people died from drug overdoses. 504 of those deaths were in Maine.
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