Life saving medicine for drug overdoses running short - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Life saving medicine for drug overdoses running short

Posted: Updated:

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- Every day 100 people die from drug overdoses. Here in Central Alabama, we've seen a big increase in heroin users over the past three to five years. Paramedics use a medication called "Naloxone - or Narcan" to revive them. Some states are considering making the meds public - even training law enforcement on how to use it. So far, it hasn't been opened up in Alabama, but it's used almost daily and saving countless lives.

Right now, there's a shortage of Naloxone - creating a concern if the medicine is made public. Rescue crews say if it runs out - that's a matter of life and death. 

"It saved my life and made me realize that the stuff I was doing was going to harm me or kill me," DeMario McFarland, a patient at Aletheia House said.

Demario McFarland's gang life started in elementary school. By 21, he was selling heroin. After an overdose, EMT's gave him Naloxone. The injection started his breath again.

"When the paramedics got there they put me in the truck and hit me with a dose of Narcan and I came right too and responded very well," McFarland said. 

"I feel like if they hadn't have used it, or someone wouldn't have been there with me, I would've died," he said.

"We can administer the Narcan, it reverses the effects and therefore saves their life," Lt. Rusy Lowe, Hoover Fire said.

Hoover fire tells us heroin overdoses have significantly gone up. Hoover uses Naloxone multiple times each month. Starting March first,  it will come in spray form for patients who no longer have veins for an i.v.

"We've experience medication shortages," Lowe said. "The manufacturers can't make enough Narcan to supply the United States and other parts of the world with it because the heroin use is at an all time high." 

"Because of the shortage, it's probably better left in the paramedics hands because they know how to use it, how to administer it," Dr. Mark Stafford, Bradford Health Services said.

Dr. Mark Stafford of Bradford Health Services sees overdoses daily. Most of Bradford's beds are full.

"Professionals, doctors, attorneys, kids from over the mountain," Dr. Stafford said. "No one is immune to this."

DeMario says thanks to the medication that saved his life,  and the Aletheia House, he's got a fresh start.

"I have goals that I have set for myself," McFarland said. "Working on getting my GED, getting to be a certified welder, and then getting a good job where I can take care of my family."

Dr. Stafford told us,  the biggest risk is for people who relapse. If they stopped using, then start again, the risk of an overdose - resulting in death is huge.

Here is a link to more information from the CDC: 

Bradford Health Services: 

Aletheia House:



 

  • Central Alabama NewsMore>>

  • 1 cent sales tax increase for Hoover City Schools?

    1 cent sales tax increase for Hoover City Schools?

    Sunday, August 31 2014 9:58 PM EDT2014-09-01 01:58:15 GMT
    In recent months, possible re-zoning and a proposed cost-sharing model for school buses have been controversial issues tied to funding for Hoover City Schools. But longtime Hoover resident and retiredMore >>
    In recent months, possible re-zoning and a proposed cost-sharing model for school buses have been controversial issues tied to funding for Hoover City Schools. But longtime Hoover resident and retiredMore >>
  • Fire danger rises for Labor Day weekend

    Fire danger rises for Labor Day weekend

    Friday, August 29 2014 11:59 PM EDT2014-08-30 03:59:40 GMT
    Our recent dry weather has created the perfect conditions for fire danger. More >>
    Our recent dry weather has created the perfect conditions for fire danger. More >>
  • Talladega parents allege school employee wrote racist Facebook posts

    Talladega parents allege school employee wrote racist Facebook posts

    Friday, August 29 2014 7:32 PM EDT2014-08-29 23:32:28 GMT
    Several parents and community members in Talladega are upset Friday over allegations of racial comments made from a school employee's Facebook page.More >>
    Several parents and community members in Talladega are upset Friday over allegations of racial comments made from a school employee's Facebook page.More >>
  • Birmingham Area NewsMore>>

  • Join us for WOOFstock this weekend (Sept. 6, 2014)

    Join us for WOOFstock this weekend (Sept. 6, 2014)

    Monday, September 1 2014 8:52 AM EDT2014-09-01 12:52:22 GMT
    Is your dog ready for WOOFstock this weekend? It's an annual event in Hoover that draws thousands to Veterans Park on Valleydale.More >>
    Is your dog ready for WOOFstock this weekend? It's an annual event in Hoover that draws thousands to Veterans Park on Valleydale.More >>
  • UPDATE: Crews restore water service in Birmingham's Norwood area

    UPDATE: Crews restore water service in Birmingham's Norwood area

    Monday, September 1 2014 2:04 AM EDT2014-09-01 06:04:24 GMT
    Crews with the Birmingham waters board are still trying to fix a water main break that erupted yesterday in the Norwood area. According to spokeswoman Binnie Myles the break involves a 20 inch main sandwiched in between two gas lines.More >>
    Crews with the Birmingham waters board are still trying to fix a water main break that erupted yesterday in the Norwood area. According to spokeswoman Binnie Myles the break involves a 20 inch main sandwiched in between two gas lines.More >>
  • Car crashes into Birmingham house

    Car crashes into Birmingham house

    Sunday, August 31 2014 10:18 PM EDT2014-09-01 02:18:57 GMT
    Neighbors living on 16th Way Southwest in Birmingham say they're dealing with a serious problem.Numerous accidents are happening around a dangerous curve.Sunday a car slammed into a house.Neighbors say no one was hurt. But there are many concerns."I was wondering was I going to run or duck, was it going to hit our home." But a dodge charger hit the house across the street from Marcus Yarbrough's house. "I heard the car coming, screeching around the corner." "Instead of having a head on collis...More >>
    Neighbors living on 16th Way Southwest in Birmingham say they're dealing with a serious problem.Numerous accidents are happening around a dangerous curve.Sunday a car slammed into a house.Neighbors say no one was hurt. But there are many concerns."I was wondering was I going to run or duck, was it going to hit our home." But a dodge charger hit the house across the street from Marcus Yarbrough's house. "I heard the car coming, screeching around the corner." "Instead of having a head on collis...More >>
  • Anniston - Gadsden Area NewsMore>>

  • Arrest made in large level extortion scheme

    Arrest made in large level extortion scheme

    Friday, August 29 2014 12:45 PM EDT2014-08-29 16:45:16 GMT
    "Everett Leon Stout, 72 and Miriam Clair Schultz, 67 are charged with 14 counts of extortion.More >>
    "Everett Leon Stout, 72 and Miriam Clair Schultz, 67 are charged with 14 counts of extortion.More >>
  • Gadsden police recover more than 300 stolen items; felony charges against suspected fence

    Gadsden police recover more than 300 stolen items; felony charges against suspected fence

    Thursday, August 28 2014 11:22 PM EDT2014-08-29 03:22:34 GMT
    Joe Walker Pearl (Photo: Etowah County Sheriff's Office)Joe Walker Pearl (Photo: Etowah County Sheriff's Office)
    Police in Gadsden are trying to return hundreds of stolen items to their rightful owners. Captain Paul Cody said officers bust a large fencing operation this week. Joe Pearl, 75, is the suspect in the case. It took a long time to sort through and document a very wide range of stolen property. "We've collected a lot of stuff," Cody said. "Toilet paper. We have non-firearms related weapons, we have karaoke machines, musical instruments, car stereos, underwear."More >>
    Police in Gadsden are trying to return hundreds of stolen items to their rightful owners. Captain Paul Cody said officers bust a large fencing operation this week. Joe Pearl, 75, is the suspect in the case. It took a long time to sort through and document a very wide range of stolen property. "We've collected a lot of stuff," Cody said. "Toilet paper. We have non-firearms related weapons, we have karaoke machines, musical instruments, car stereos, underwear."More >>
  • Gadsden police arrest suspect in deadly stabbing case

    Gadsden police arrest suspect in deadly stabbing case

    Thursday, August 28 2014 11:37 AM EDT2014-08-28 15:37:31 GMT
    William D'Angelo McKinney (Photo: Etowah County Sheriff's Office)William D'Angelo McKinney (Photo: Etowah County Sheriff's Office)
    Investigators in Gadsden said a man strangled his ex-girlfriend Tuesday evening before stabbing another man to death. Officers arrested 30-year-old William D'Angelo McKinney Wednesday night. He faces charges for murder and domestic violence with strangulation. Police said McKinney went to his ex-girlfriend's home in the Mill Village area and let himself in. Investigators said she asked him to leave, but he shoved her and then put her in a headlock until she blacked out.More >>
    Investigators in Gadsden said a man strangled his ex-girlfriend Tuesday evening before stabbing another man to death. Officers arrested 30-year-old William D'Angelo McKinney Wednesday night. He faces charges for murder and domestic violence with strangulation. Police said McKinney went to his ex-girlfriend's home in the Mill Village area and let himself in. Investigators said she asked him to leave, but he shoved her and then put her in a headlock until she blacked out.More >>
Most Popular
Stories
Videos
loading...