BOISE, Idaho — Naloxone is a potentially life-saving medication that can quickly reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. At Tuesday's "Live Naloxone Training" at The Phoenix, more Idahoans are learning how to administer it themselves.
"Who should learn how to use Naloxone?" I asked. "Everybody," said Cathy Oliphant, Director of the ISU School of Pharmacy. "You could be walking through the grocery store and someone is down."
But in the case of Charlotte Lanier, the cause hits a little closer to home. She says the very medication she came to learn more about today could have saved her son's life several years ago.
"My son died in 2004. There was Naloxone in the house where he died, and no one, um, used it," said Lanier.
Her son's overdose was before Idaho enacted the Good Samaritan law, which gives partial immunity to a person calling 911 who may be fearful of their own arrest. 15 years later, Lanier is taking advantage of opportunities to learn more about the antidote.
"I don't think he wanted to overdose. I don't think he had any intention to," said Lanier.
Now, she and roughly a dozen others dedicated their afternoon to learning how to administer the medication that could have reversed her son's overdose.
"It's an opportunity to save someone's life-- to give them another chance," said Oliphant.
Naloxone is an antidote that can be given as a shot, IV, or-- most commonly-- as a nasal spray.
"I actually carry some in my car. I haven't had to use it and I'm very grateful I haven't, but I just decided that I wanted to be ready, should I need to," said Lanier.
And as we previously reported, the medication is currently available in Idaho at doctor's offices and pharmacies.
"Pharmacists can actually write the prescription and dispense it to you which is awesome," said Oliphant.
Lanier says she hopes more people will become educated on the life-saving antidote.
"And I think these are things we should talk about openly ya know? And reduce the stigma," said Lanier.
To learn more about naloxone and overdose prevention, click here.