NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The City of New Orleans is warning of what it calls a significant increase in heroin overdoses, but it now has a plan to combat the problem.
Doctors at University Medical Center said that in January, they have seen seven deaths related to heroin.
The heroin epidemic is nationwide. In a lot of cases it is linked to people taking opioid pain killers and then transitioning to heroin which is cheaper and easier to get.
City officials said Friday they have seen a rise in calls about overdoses. As a resulted the city's medical director has issued a standing order for anyone in the city to be able to purchase the overdose reversing drug Naloxone, also called Narcan, over the counter without a prescription. The only place you can get it without the prescription will be at the UMC outpatient pharmacy at 2000 Canal St.
The city also pointed out these troubling heroin statistics:
- Use more than doubled among young adults ages 18–25 in the past decade.
- More than 9 in 10 people who used heroin also used at least one other drug.
- 45% of people who used heroin were also addicted to prescription opioid painkillers.
In 2015, the legislature passed a law allowing doctors to prescribe Naloxone to family and close friends of known heroin addicts.
After administering the drug, call 911 because the person must be taken to the hospital.