In rare advisory, surgeon general urges public to carry overdose-reversal medication

WASHINGTON, DC – NOVEMBER 15: U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams testifies before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill November 15, 2017 in Washington, DC. Adams testified about community-level health promotion programs and businesses that offer incentives to employees that practice healthy lifestyles. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Surgeon General Jerome Adams is issuing a rare public health advisory, calling for friends and family of people at risk for opioid overdoses to carry the OD-reversal medication naloxone. He likened the treatment to other livesaving interventions, such as knowing how to perform CPR or use an EpiPen.

The recommendation comes in the form of a surgeon general’s advisory, a tool used to draw attention to major public health issues. The last one, focused on drinking during pregnancy, was issued in 2005.

“What makes this one of those rare moments is we’re facing an unprecedented drug epidemic,” Adams told STAT in a phone interview.

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