The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved a prescription treatment that will give families and caregivers the ability to assist someone during an opioid overdose.

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WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- A new auto-injector could be the difference between life and death for opioid drug users.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a prescription treatment that will give families and caregivers the ability to assist someone during an opioid overdose. Evzio is a hand-held auto-injector that can be easily stored in a pocket or a medicine cabinet. When injected it rapidly delivers a single dose of Naloxone. This drug quickly reverses the effect of the overdose. Evzio is an at home auto-injector.

Dr. Bob Rappaport, Director of the Division of Anesthesia, Analgesia, and Addiction Products in the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research says, this drug's early admission could say lives in emergency situations.

Drug overdose deaths are the leading cause of injury death in the US. FDA commissioner, Dr. Margaret A. Hamburg stated that more than 16,000 lives are lost each year from opioid related overdoses.

"FDA approval of Evzio provides an important new tool in our arsenal to more effectively combat the devastating effects of opioid overdose," Dr. Hamburg said.

The device provides verbal instruction to users. However, the FDA suggests that family members and caregivers familiarize themselves with the device prior to administration. A trainer device is also included to walk users through the proper steps.

Evzio is not a substitute for immediate medical care. The person administering the Evzio should pursue further medical attention for their patient.

Dr. Hamburg urges everyone to work together to decrease drug abuse while still providing access to pain medicines.

"The FDA will continue to work to reduce the risks of abuse and misuse of prescription opioids, but we cannot solve this complex problem alone," Dr. Hamburg said.

Written by: Brittany Linton

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