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Sat., April 5, 2014, 7:43 a.m.

Gotta pen?

A life-saving device, similar to an EpiPen used to stop allergic reactions, has been approved for use to treat those who have overdosed on opioids. Prescription drug abuse is rampant, killing more Americans than heroin and cocaine combined. In 2010, more than 16,500 people died from opioids according to federal sources.

The device, called Evzio, contains naloxone and is small enough to hold in one’s hand. Naloxone is used to reverse the effects of an overdose; Evzio will be used on someone who has lost consciousness or stopped breathing.  The new treatment may be available this summer.

Good idea?

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Spokesman-Review features writer Rebecca Nappi, along with writer Catherine Johnston of Olympia, Wash., discuss here issues facing aging boomers, seniors and those experiencing serious illness, dying, death and other forms of loss.