“When you wake up [from naloxone], you’re extremely dope sick,” said Caitlyn Phillips, a resident of Asheville who used intravenous heroin for several years. “It’s the most painful way to wake up.”
There’s been a lot of media attention on naloxone and how it saves lives. But I’ve been waiting to hear from an actual user of naloxone, and Ms. Phillips has confirmed my thoughts on how users are affected by this drug. And yet, as painful as the after-effects of this drug are, the experience doesn’t stop drug addicts from using again.
Because I’ve read about how this drug works on the brain, I have to wonder: Does naloxone interfere with the pain receptors to a degree that would affect how the patient perceives pain in the future? Or how the patient reacts to pain medication used for, say, surgery? Does the use of naloxone create a potential for a chronic pain condition?