For the first time in 13 years, the surgeon general has issued a public health advisory urging more of us to carry a drug that helps combat our opioid epidemic.

The top doctor in the U.S., Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams was in Atlanta Thursday (4/8) for the National Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit. During his speech, Dr. Adams urged more of us to carry the opioid overdose antidote naloxone, according to wgntv.com.

“You don’t have to be a policeman or a firefighter or a paramedic to save a life,” - U.S Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams

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Data from 2016 shows that 42,000 people died from opioid overdoses in 2016 and  more than half occurred in the home.

Naloxone (Also known as Narcan and Evzio) can restore a person’s breathing after it's injected or sprayed in the nostrils, quickly bringing overdose victims back from near-death. The narcan nasal spray is widely available across the U.S., and costs roughly $80 per dose. The generic and injectable version is often cheaper. Surgeon General Adams also said that 95 percent of Americans have the insurance coverage to buy naloxone.

“Costs should not and, in the near future, will not be a barrier to accessing naloxone for anyone in America,” - U.S Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams

To read more of Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams comments from the summit, and to see what opponents of this advisory have to say, click here.

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