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Addiction Treatment Experts Discuss Overdose and Naloxone on International Overdose Awareness Day

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Cordant Health Solutions’ CEO, Sue Sommer, spoke with Randall Kelly and Rio McWilliams, co-owners and founders of Equinox Clinics, LLC, about addiction treatment, the fentanyl crisis, overdose, and the importance of naloxone (NarcanĀ®), the lifesaving opioid overdose reversal drug, in an evidence-based harm reduction strategy.

Um we we kind of look at this kind of like a uh we’re all in the same team we’re all trying to do the same thing we’re trying to have harm reduction and if you if people come into your clinic and you know you’re kind of browbeating them and you tell them shame shame you shouldn’t you know you should know better you gotta you gotta see where people are people

Are at a point where they really want to change they come through your door they already feel bad they already feel embarrassed they’re already in withdrawal they you know life is already back enough for them if you can meet them where they’re at and say hey i hear you i’m not going to judge you i’m not your mother i want you to have a good outcome i want you to

Be able to come back because if you come back i can treat them and i tell patients all the time you know there’s a book called the power of now right now i’ve got that patient in the seat and right now i can do something if i shame them and they don’t come back i’ll never be able to help so and and this this isn’t like you know you know you’re like you’re trying

To get somebody to stop smoking well that could take 20 30 40 years before they have a real impact with that this is fentanyl on the street they could diet today right so you know you’ve got to deal with what you’ve got and sometimes people come in and they try to pull a fast one you you just have to know that they’re not clear-headed you know you have to get

Them to a point where they’re clear-headed and once they get clear-headed probably most everyone will say oh gosh at the time when i came in i couldn’t really hear everything that you were trying to tell me because it’s just too much because i’m actively having withdrawals i can’t hear everything you’re saying so i try to get them back i try to get them on an

Effective dose once they come back get an effective dose they get five seven ten days clean now we’re having a different conversation but sometimes it takes a while for people to get there and and you just have to be aware that fentanyl has kind of really changed everything and people are dying yeah and it’s so prevalent like you said earlier it’s in everything

So that then ups the ante a bit so you’re using naloxone in your practice can you guys talk a little bit about just educate our team a little bit on how it works and then how you’re using it and maybe what you’ve seen you know are you seeing people use it do they come back to the clinic and say i used it or used it on a friend and i need another prescription

Just talk a little bit about how it works how it’s used in your clinic and anything you’ve seen well i i think it’s it’s it comes down to sort of basic science uh naloxone is an opiate blocker it uh it has such a strong affinity to that mood receptor where opiates like fentanyl and heroin attach to um it sort of pushes it out of that receptor and that’s sort

Of the mechanism of action to reverse and overdose so somebody uses fentanyl and you know they’re overdosing and the respiratory drive goes down and everything and they stop breathing they’re given naloxone which immediately makes an impact and reverses that effect it’s essentially like i said pushes that that that opiate molecule out of that receptor uh it is

Certainly life-saving uh i think that that rio can also test that for me many of my patients they’ve had that experience or they’ve had to utilize naloxone for somebody to save their life you know i had a patient uh that i had word that was using fentanyl and uh he said to me that they had to use i think it was they had to use naloxone like four or five times

Uh to sort of bring him back you know from from the precipice of his own death and so so it makes a huge impact so so essentially that’s the mechanism of action that was a great explanation randall yeah great explanation but typically what i see are stories of people coming in saying either they were narcan and i can think of yesterday i had a new patient who

Came in and his best friend died over the weekend on the day before he said he’s my best friend for 30 years and they were using in the house and he had two narcans and he used him both and his friends still died right there in front of him and so he came in the clinic the next day and he was like i have to change my life i’ve heard about this equinox clinic uh

That you guys hear about people and he came in so we’ll see how he does we’ll see what happens but that is a really common thing uh people coming to us after after getting narcan they don’t want to go back you

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Addiction Treatment Experts Discuss Overdose and Naloxone on International Overdose Awareness Day By Cordant Health Solutions