Surgeon general enlists all to stop opioid deaths

Donald Trump, Melania Trump, Jerome Adams
FILE - In this Feb. 13, 2018, file photo, Surgeon General Jerome Adams speaks during a National African American History Month reception hosted by President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump in the East Room of the White House in Washington. The nation's chief doctor wants more Americans to start carrying the overdose antidote naloxone in an effort to combat the nation's opioid crisis. U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Adams is expected to speak about the public health advisory Thursday, April 5, at the National Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

This editorial was first published by Newsday’s editorial board.

The U.S. surgeon general issued a rare advisory April 5 regarding the nation’s opioid epidemic, and his simple message is worth heeding: More Americans should carry naloxone.

Naloxone, the drug commonly known as Narcan, quickly reverses the effects of an opioid overdose. And there were more than 42,000 such overdose deaths nationally in 2016. Dr. Jerome Adams’ list of those who should have naloxone and know how to use it included opioid users, their families and friends, healthcare practitioners and anyone who comes into contact with people at risk for an opioid overdose. In other words, almost all of us.

Find out how to obtain it. Get training in using it in sessions offered frequently by libraries, hospitals, local governments and agencies like the Long Island Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence.

As Adams noted: Be prepared. Get naloxone. Save a life.