Opioid addiction and reversing an overdose with Narcan

Person holding Narcan

Source: Micky Bedell |Bangor Daily News

Narcan is a brand name for the drug naloxone. It’s a nasal spray that can be used to reverse a drug overdose. Maine recently passed a law that gives everyone, regardless of their age, access to naloxone without a prescription. We’re going to talk about naloxone in today’s Catching Health podcast — what it can and cannot do and the role that it plays in helping to address the opioid crisis.

My guest is Dr. Mark Publicker, an addiction specialist with 30 years in the field. He is currently in practice in Portland, Maine.

In this episode

  • I introduce and welcome Dr. Publicker to the Catching Health podcast.
  • He explains what naloxone is and how it works.
  • He tells us how to know when to use it.
  • He describes the signs that someone has overdosed.
  • He explains how you might know that someone is at increased risk of an overdose.
  • He answers the question can anyone become addicted to opiates?
  • He shares his views on cannabis and how it is sometimes marketed.
  • He discusses what started the opiate crisis.
  • He explains why he became an addiction specialist.
  • He shares the hardest lesson he’s had to learn.
  • He explains the new Maine law.
  • He talks about future risks related to an increased rate of addiction to fentanyl.

Listen to the podcast now

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Diane Atwood

About Diane Atwood

For more than 20 years, Diane was the health reporter on WCSH 6. Before that, a radiation therapist at Maine Medical Center and after, Manager of Marketing/PR at Mercy Hospital. She now hosts and produces the Catching Health podcast and writes the award-winning blog Catching Health with Diane Atwood.