Sunday, December 13, 2015

An anti-overdose drug will now be available 'over-the-counter' in NY

It seems that many people have been dying due to overdoses of the illegal drug heroin in NY City.

(an 'overdose' is when you take too much of something that can kill you - heroin is an illegal and highly addictive narcotic drug) 

(if a drug is available 'over-the-counter', this means that you do not need a doctor's permission to buy the drug...US pharmacies often have lots of over-the-counter drugs on display that a person can buy, but a doctor's prescription (note) can only be filled by a licensed pharmacist behind a counter)

There is a drug which can be taken if a person feels he/she is dying from an overdose of heroin, and this drug can save the person's life. This drug is called naloxone. 

Until recently only a doctor could provide the medicine directly or a person needed a prescription (a notice that a person could legally buy the medicine from a pharmacy).

Because so many people have been dying, heroin users may now buy the drug naloxone and keep it with them while they are using heroin, in case they lose the ability to breathe (naloxone apparently helps a person breathe again after an overdose, thus saving the person's life).

What do you think about this? Some folks say that by making naloxone easy to get we are encouraging people to use heroin. They argue that if it is safer to take heroin, more young people will now take heroin. Yet, it's true that there has been an increase in the number of young people who are dying from heroin overdoses. Should we allow some young people die in order not to encourage others to try heroin?

An article about this:

Vocabulary from the article:

anti - this means to be against something; pro means to be for something

opiates - these are drugs that come from the poppy plant; they are, basically, pain-killers

a pharmacy - a place to buy medication, either over-the-counter or through a doctor's prescription

De Blasio - the mayor (leader) of New York City

sobering - information is sobering if it shocks you; the opposite of sober is drunk

new stats - new statistics,new numbers about something


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