Media Tip Sheet: FDA Approves Over the Counter Narcan to Address the Opioid Crisis

March 29, 2023

Wednesday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved over the counter Narcan, a drug that reverses opioid overdoses. Addiction and harm reduction experts say the move will help save lives in the midst of a national opioid crisis.

The George Washington University has experts available to comment on many aspects of the overdose crisis, including the news about Narcan’s wider availability.. To schedule an interview or request more information, please contact GW Media at [email protected].

Monica Ruiz, an associate professor of prevention and community health at the GW Milken Institute School of Public Health, can talk about addiction treatment and harm reduction efforts aimed at keeping people with substance use disorders safe.

Naomi Seiler, an associate professor of health policy and management at GW Milken Institute School of Public Health, can talk about the importance of providing greater access to Narcan, which can save lives if administered during an overdose. She has co-authored a report on Medicaid reimbursement for this life-saving drug.

Tony Roberson, an associate professor and director of the Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Program at the GW School of Nursing, is an expert on adolescent psychiatric mental health and substance abuse and addictions. Additionally, Roberson has previously collaborated with the Veterans Administration, particularly in meeting the psychiatric mental health needs of those veterans who reside in rural areas, and he has extensive clinical and research expertise within the juvenile justice system.

Cynthia Awadzi, visiting professor at the GW School of Nursing, specializes in substance abuse and addiction and can speak to a number of aspects of the national opioid crisis, including treatment options and risk factors. Her research interests also include the integration of medical and psychiatric health in underserved populations.

Rhonda Schwindt, an associate professor at the GW School of Nursing, is a nationally certified psychiatric and mental health clinical nurse specialist and nurse practitioner. She is an expert on substance abuse and addictions, mental health and tobacco cessation. Specifically, her research is focused on reducing the disproportionate impact of tobacco use among high-risk populations.

Bridget Dooling, a research professor with the GW Regulatory Sciences Center, recently co-authored a paper published in The Lancet advocating for more flexible regulatory policies that would improve access to life-saving treatment for opioid use disorder.

Robert Shesser, a professor and ​​Chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine at the School of Medicine & Health Science can discuss the impact and usage of Narcan in emergency medicine. 

GW Experts running a mobile health van for IV drug users in the District of Columbia can discuss how this medication is a harm reduction strategy. They can also talk about how their NIH-funded study aims to help drug users access treatment and stay safe.