EXPERTS: All Hoosiers Should Carry Narcan; Here's Why...

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STATEWIDE -- Nearly two out of three Indiana residents knows someone battling addiction, according to a new study by Indiana University's Responding to the Addictions Crisis Grand Challenge Initiative.

An Indianapolis man that now works at IU Health as a Peer Recovery Coach knows the addiction battle all too well.

"I am an addict myself in recovery, on December 11th, I have 12 years," says Andrew Gaddie, a recovering addict, and IU Health Peer Recovery Coach. "I actually have 25 years of active addiction, which was alcohol, cocaine, and heroin."

At IU Health's Emergency Department at Methodist Hospital, Gaddie helps addicts when they land in the emergency room. He says many of these patients only making it to the hospital because they used Narcan.

"If it weren't there, I wouldn't be able to tell you that they are still here today," states Gaddie. "So as long as they are here, there is hope, that is the big thing, there is hope."

Naloxone, also known as Narcan, is a drug used to treat an opioid overdose. Dr. Dallas Peak from IU Health has seen the opioid epidemic plague too many families, and he says, Narcan can save lives. Narcan is essentially a life-saving therapy that can be administered by anybody on the scene to help reverse the effects of opiates," explains Dr. Peak. Opiates enter into the bloodstream and latch onto brain receptors.

"While they are bound to these opiate receptors, essentially what happens is it starts to shut us down," says Dr. Peak. "And we go to sleep, and actually worse than that we can stop breathing. And that is why people die from an overdose."

However, Naloxone has the power to reverse a life-threatening overdose.

"It is like insurance, it is better to have it and not use it than to need it and not have it," says Gaddie. "Every house should have some because you never know when that time comes when you are going to need it."