Sparring Science on Naloxone

Naloxone access laws across the US have made the lifesaving overdose-reversal drug available without a prescription and offer legal immunity to those administering it.

But does naloxone, or Narcan, make people more likely to use opioids? The debate is raging in public health circles after 2 University of Wisconsin economists found that under naloxone-access laws, opioid-related arrests and ER visits increased, and the opioid mortality numbers didn’t budge.

But it might have stopped mortality increasing even further, contends Leana Wen, health commissioner of Baltimore and naloxone advocate. Columbia University’s Jermaine Jones calls the findings a “misinterpretation of data” falsely equating correlation with causation.

The Atlantic

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