Elana Gordon

In 2016, opioid related deaths surpassed 40,000 in the United States, more than double the toll from six years prior. Deaths continue to climb. Yet an opioid overdose does not have to be fatal. When such drugs overwhelm the brain’s receptors — slowing down and stopping vital functions like breathing — that can all be reversed if someone is there to respond. It’s why the United States’ chief medical doctor recently urged more and more Americans to carry the overdose reversing medication, naloxone. If administered soon enough, naloxone removes a drug’s fatal grip and can bring someone back to life. But people who use illegal drugs often use in hiding, in unsafe situations — and alone.