Chemical Reaction in Heroin and Naloxone

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Effects of Heroin and Naloxone in a Chemical Reaction Nicole Plante Chemistry 090 Professor Pelletier Spring 2014 Introduction Prescription and illicit opiate abuse is prevalent and over dose-related are becoming an increasingly common occurrence (Bailey, 2014). This addiction touches the lives of great many American individuals and families regardless of age, social class, ethnicity or gender (Leavitt, 2010). This is a nationwide problem, not just a state issue. Naloxone is a medication that has been proven to help save these lives. Naloxone was FDA approved in 1971 and has been used for decades by emergency medical services for reversing opioid overdose and reviving victims who otherwise would have died (Leavitt, 2010). I decided to do this paper for two reasons, one, this problem is not going away. The ‘war on drugs’ is not a war that we are going to win. But with the availability of Naloxone, it may save lives so that recovery is still an option in this fight. Background Approximately 15,000 people die each year by overdosing on opioids, a rate that has more than tripled since 1990 (Wermeling, 2012). The annual incidence of opioid over dose associated mortality on a nationwide scale has been difficult to assess due to incomplete reporting systems (Leavitt, S.2010) as well as more than half of over doses go unreported for fears of repercussions (kuehn,2014). In Massachusetts these over doses have killed more than car crashes each year since 2005 (Wermeling, 2012). The government had tried numerous strategies to reduce the death toll, including imposing stricter regulations on prescribing medications, prosecuting owners of “pill mills” who dispense the drugs without proper medical evaluation, and tracking data bases to monitor and discourage “doctor shopping” among addicts (Szalvitz,2013). Addiction often begins with a legitimate opioid

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