This is good:
The opiate-blocker naloxone is one of the year’s most celebrated drugs, breaking into the mainstream as a magic-bullet antidote that yanks overdose victims from the brink of death with a shot of nasal spray or an intravenous injection. Police take it on patrols. Emergency medical technicians keep it in their ambulances. Ordinary Americans are stocking their medicine cabinets with it. Because of it, hundreds of people who might have died this year from taking too much heroin, Oxycontin or similar painkillers remain alive.
This is not good:
But the lifesaving medication is not a cure. After it has done its job, overdose survivors are left with their cravings intact. Without follow-up care, they are likely to keep feeding their habits, putting them at risk of another overdose, one that could kill them. Treatment, however, can be very difficult to find.
Lying in the emergency room after being revived, many addicts say they experience a fleeting moment of clarity that makes them receptive to help. But that potential is often lost in a patchwork healthcare system that gives survivors little incentive to change. Many walk out of the hospital with just a list of treatment options on their discharge papers, researchers and health care workers say.