Health

Feb 11, 2013 2:36 PM by Alyse Rzemek

Overdose drug expansion considered in Colorado

DENVER (AP) - A powerful drug that can stop an overdose in time to get medical help for an addict could be expanded in Colorado.

The state Senate starts work Thursday on a bill to expand access to so-called "opioid antagonists," injected drugs that can stop an opiate overdose by "freezing" the brain's receptors for opiates such as heroin or OxyContin. The drugs temporarily restore normal breathing so that overdosing addicts can be taken to a hospital. The drugs are commonly sold under the generic name naloxone.

An opiate antagonist was famously depicted in the movie "Pulp Fiction," when a character injected an antagonist into the chest of an overdosing character. Naloxone counteracts the effects of heroin, OxyContin and other powerful painkillers and is been routinely used by ambulance crews and emergency rooms.

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