Exploring the New Answer for Opioid Overdoses
Advocacy Jonathan Goyer was in recovery from a heroin and pain medication addiction for 132 days. On day 133, he relapsed.
For more information about naloxone access and overdose prevention, please visit Prescribe to Prevent.
Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services’ Opioid Overdose Prevention Toolkit provides information to help those at risk to avoid overdose and educate families, communities and health workers about the potential for overdose, as well as the dangers of opioid misuse and abuse.
Finding help online
- SAMHSA’s Prescription Drug Misuse and Abuse Website
- Buprenorphine Physician & Treatment Program Locator
- Opioid Treatment Program Directory
- Medication-Assisted Treatment for Opioid Addiction: Facts for Families and Friends
- Facts about Buprenorphine: For Treatment of Opioid Addiction
- Providers' Clinical Support System For Opioid Therapies
- SAMHSA’s National Prevention Week Toolkit
- SAMHSA’s Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator
If you or someone you know has a prescription drug use disorder, help is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Visit SAMHSA's National Helpline, or call:
- 1-800-662-HELP (4357)
- 1-800-487-4889 (TTY)
Fortunately, Goyer was living in a recovery house and one of his housemates found him within minutes of his overdose. Even more fortunate, the house manager saved his life. Because a housemate recognized the signs of his overdose, Goyer got a second chance at life through a life-saving drug called Naloxone.
Shot of hope
Naloxone is a nasal or injection medication administered to reverse the effects of opioids during an overdose. Its impact is almost immediate, waking up a person who may seem near death. Many emergency responders and law enforcement across the country now carry naloxone to give to individuals who have overdosed before arriving at a hospital, when it may be too late.
Jonathan and his family know first-hand the devastating impact of drug abuse. Both his father and brother died of overdoses. Opioid overdose touches many communities across the country. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), 4.3 million people in the U.S. used prescription pain medication for non-medical purposes, and 435,000 adults were current heroin users in 2014.
According to Goyer, this second chance at life brought the clarity that he needed to start making good choices. He has been in recovery since 2013 and Jonathan now uses his story to help others. He is the executive director at Project Weber, where he serves as a peer health educator. He is an adviser on the Rhode Island Governor's Overdose Task Force and volunteers with Miriam Hospital’s Preventing Overdose and Naloxone Intervention Program. Jonathan is certified to administer naloxone and advocates for its distribution.
“Naloxone is a critical and life-saving tool in the fight against opioid addition and overdose,” says SAMHSA medical officer Melinda Campopiano. “We applaud FDA’s efforts to fast-track two more Naloxone-containing products that will be brought to market at a lower price point than previous versions. Bringing this life-saving medication to our communities may provide that second chance that people need to start on the path to recovery."
“Jonathon is a living example of how people can overcome their addictions and live amazing lives in recovery,” Campopiano adds. “Making Naloxone available to community leaders, first responders and caregivers will ensure that others will also have this chance at achieving recovery.”