With deaths from heroin and prescription painkiller overdoses now a full-swing American epidemic, the federal government has taken steps towards preventing drug fatalities by approving an at home overdose antidote.

Earlier this week, the Food and Drug Administration approved a device called Evzio, which reverses the effects of an opioid overdose and revives drug users before they drift off into the eternal nod. Evzio works by allowing a person to inject the drug “naloxone” into an unresponsive opioid abuser in order to counteract the slowed-down breathing that often leads to death. 

Medical personnel have used naloxone for years, but now family members, friends and even junkies themselves will be able to keep the life-saving medication on hand in case of an overdose emergency. Administering the drug is not quite a traumatic as having to give someone an adrenalin shot through his or her breastplate and into the heart; Evzio is simply injected under the skin or into the muscle. But a prescription will be required, according to the FDA.

Recent statistics from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention indicate there were over 16,000 deaths in 2010 as the result of opioid overdoses, with prescription painkillers being the primary culprit. So, it stands to reason that a large percentage of overdose fatalities could quite possibly be starved off with the advent of this medication in homes across the country.

However, there is some concern that people will use Evzio as a safety net and it will encourage drug abusers to experiment with higher dosages. Yet, Douglas Throckmorton with the FDA Center for Drug Evaluation and Research says an injection of naloxone does not discount the need for medical assistance, but it will ultimately save some lives.

Mike Adams writes for stoners and smut enthusiasts in HIGH TIMES, Playboy’s The Smoking Jacket and Hustler Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter @adamssoup and on Facebook/mikeadams73.