Opioid emergencies take to the skies

Pain Stops Here

The Federal Aviation Administration says it’s considering a plan to require opioid overdose reversal drugs, like Naloxone, in emergency medical kits on-board passenger aircraft.

“The opioid crisis has gripped every state, every district in the country,” says Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI).

Langevin says there is need to combat the opioid crisis in the skies.

“Last August, I led a letter to the FAA administrator asking that they include a look at including Naloxone,” he says.

Langevin says this comes after an airline passenger died from an overdose while on a flight from Boston to Los Angeles in July.

“I think the airlines need to be prepared for any type of emergency,” Langevin says.

In a letter to lawmakers, FAA Administrator Steve Dickson said the FAA is currently reviewing the best way for air carriers to include opioid antagonists like Naloxone as part of on-board emergency medical kits.

Recent statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show more than 70,000 drug overdose deaths have occurred in the U.S. and experts say Naloxone could be part of the solution.

“Naloxone is blocking or reversing the effects of opiates,” says Dr. Zeina Saliba, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences.

Dr. Saliba calls the drug an antidote to an overdose.

“It is absolutely important, because it is life-saving,” Dr. Saliba says.

Current law already allows airlines to carry Naloxone, but Langevin’s request would make it a requirement.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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