LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) – The Federal Drug Administration has approved a new and very powerful opioid drug. Now, people who work closely with opioid addiction and overdose are concerned.
It is called Dsuvia. This drug is 1,000 times more potent than morphine and 10 times more potent than the opioid analogue commonly found in overdose.
"We are in the middle of an opioid crisis, and Lafayette has no immunity," said Darrell Clase, director of the Tippecanoe Emergency Ambulance Service.
His answer was clear when Jason Padgett of Home With Hope asked if he thought the FDA could get out of the hands of people who negatively used Dsuvia.
"No, I do not, ever," he said.
"We recommend overdosing three times a day in Tippecanoe County," Clase said.
Padgett strives to help those who fight this disease through the process of recovery.
"I called one of my friends last night for overdose and death, saying that three people died in Lafayette in the last 72 hours," he said.
So of course both are concerned about the direction Dsuvia will take.
FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb issued a statement earlier this week to raise concerns about the drug. He said he would be used to help our troops.
"It was a top priority for the FDA to allow soldiers access to treatments that meet the unique needs of the battlefield.
However, an injured soldier may have slippery slopes. According to one study in 2014, 15% of veterans regularly used opioids, which is much higher than the general population.
Although Padgett said this drug could be in the wrong hands, he still saw the other side of the coin.
"As a US Marine, once you find out that Dsuvia will be used to help people on the battlefield, I have to tell you that there is an advantage to it," he said. "Do you punish the rest of the world because people are looking for a chemical escape?"
He said it was time for people to view addiction as a social issue.
"People need housing, they need to be able to support their families and have a purpose in life," he says. "We look for ways to solve emotional and psychological problems until parents teach parents."
Clase is answering all your needs to manage and assist you with recovery medicines such as Narcan and Naloxone.
"If this kind of drug strikes the streets, it will be a serious challenge to the EMS world," he said.
It was not known whether Narcan and Naloxone could save a person who overdoses Dsuvia.
"We are already limited in resources to treat them and I think it will cause more challenges in the future," he said. "If you can control what is already happening, it will be a different story. I feel we are fighting against the lost battle. "
He said that if Dsuvia were to become more widespread, he and his team would act as positively as possible.
"That's what we can pursue," he said. "I just hope it will never happen because it is used only in a healthcare environment, but we never know what can happen."
Padgett said many things are happening in Lafayette to create a positive recovery environment.
"The Opioid Task Force is working to create a resilience community, and Personnel 1 is helping people work at Caterpillar and SIA." "They are things that change people's lives."
They have recently formed a quick response team that consists of one EMS contact and one authorized peer recovery peer, who can talk to anyone within 72 hours of overdose and no further assistance.
Padgett said the team should be operational in early December.