Here’s what we know about OTC Narcan and a fentanyl vaccine.
Wellness Wire
Presented by   BetterHelp
IN a nutshell
Countless lives have been touched by opioid use disorder (OUD), including my own. Although my loved ones with OUD are still alive, their recovery journey has been paved with brain chemical imbalances, relationship challenges, and other issues that they wouldn’t wish on their worst enemy.
Today, we’re sharing an update on the highly stigmatized opioid epidemic, featuring what we know so far about developments in over-the-counter (OTC) Narcan and a fentanyl vaccine.
We’re also covering related topics like:
a digital therapy platform for better mental well-being
the healing potential of “magic mushrooms”
cannabis and cholesterol levels
more health stories you need
Be well,
Morgan Mandriota
Newsletter Editor, Healthline
  Written by Morgan Mandriota
January 9, 2022 • 6 min read
OTC Narcan + a new fentanyl vaccine = lifesavers
what’s got us buzzing
OTC Narcan + a new fentanyl vaccine = lifesavers
According to 2020 data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the number of opioid overdose deaths has quintupled since 1999. The opioid epidemic is devastating and we’re in desperate need of breakthroughs to reduce its effects on individuals and families. Fortunately, we have two exciting, lifesaving updates to share on this front.

Narcan (naloxone) will soon become available over the counter. This nasal spray treats opioid overdoses in adults and children by temporarily reversing the effects (while you wait for emergency medical treatment and intervention). It’s likely to become available for purchase OTC from pharmacies without a prescription within months, allowing more people to carry it with them and save the lives of folks who may have overdosed. (Read about Narcan side effects here.)

A fentanyl vaccine is in the works. Researchers have announced promising results for a new vaccine that may block fentanyl from entering a person’s brain. This vaccine might help to reduce overdoses and assist people in their OUD recovery journey with minimal side effects. However, the shot has only been tested on rats, so more research is needed to explore its potential for helping humans. Any progress is progress though!

According to the fentanyl vaccine researchers, “over 150 people die every day from overdoses of synthetic opioids including fentanyl, which is 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine.” We look forward to seeing how these developments improve and save lives once they become accessible.

tl;dr: Over-the-counter (OTC) Narcan and a fentanyl vaccine are two upcoming tools that can help people living with opioid use disorder. They’re not available for public use yet — OTC Narcan may hit pharmacy shelves in early 2023, whereas the fentanyl vaccine is still being researched and developed.
great finds
  Presented by   BetterHelp
Talk therapy can do wonders for your well-being, but finding a therapist can be expensive, inaccessible, and downright stressful. Save your time and skip the waitlists by signing up for BetterHelp, the world’s largest professional online therapy platform!
Since its launch, BetterHelp has connected over 3.5 *million* people with almost 30,000 licensed mental health professionals. (That’s a lot of people.) Their network consists of accredited, state-board certified psychologists, marriage and family therapists, clinical social workers, and counselors with 1,000+ hours of work experience. No matter what you’re going through, BetterHelp therapists are experienced and available to help you.
Ready to get started? All you have to do is fill out a quick questionnaire, then you’ll be matched with a relevant therapist in under 48 hours. Subscribers get a weekly phone or video therapy sesh, unlimited messaging with a therapist, and access to other perks like webinars, journaling tools, and more. Change of heart? You can switch therapists or cancel anytime for any reason.
Start now
Magic mushrooms for addiction, cancer, and mental health
Monday Kick-Start
Magic mushrooms for addiction, cancer, and mental health
Do you live with treatment-resistant depression, OCD, cancer, or alcohol or substance use disorder? Are you looking for an alternative way to treat your symptoms and manage your condition? Allow us to introduce you to the healing potential of magic mushrooms, or psilocybin.

Clinical trials exploring its benefits are happening all over the world at leading health organizations like John Hopkins Medicine and NYU Langone Health. So far, research suggests that psilocybin may:
  • ease severe depression symptoms, especially among treatment-resistant depression
  • immediately reduce anxiety and depression in people with cancer (when combined with psychotherapy)
  • reduce heavy drinking by 83% among people with alcohol use disorder (compared to 51% who received an antihistamine placebo)
Keep in mind: Magic mushrooms are still illegal for medicinal and recreational use across most of the U.S. However, certain cities in Oregon, California, and Colorado have decriminalized or legalized psilocybin use, especially for therapeutic purposes. Psilocybin therapy is not (yet) approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) either.

Stay tuned for future updates, and as always, please speak with a doctor before trying psychedelic therapy. To learn more about the benefits of psychedelic therapy, check out our other resources:
  • The Future of Health: The Therapeutic Benefits of Psychedelics
  • What to Know About Psychedelic Therapy

  • Tell us: Would you try psychedelic assisted therapy? If not, why? Share your thoughts with us at (Please note that we may use your name and response in an upcoming edition!)
    Health Hype
    Can cannabis affect cholesterol levels?
    (Find the answer at the end of this email)
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    Health Hype Answer
    Can cannabis affect cholesterol levels?
    There may be a correlation between cannabis use and changes in cholesterol levels. The research is mixed, but cannabis and CBD could be considered risk factors for developing high cholesterol. A small 2013 study found that cannabis smokers had lower plasma HDL (“good”) cholesterol but similar LDL (“bad”) cholesterol than the control group.

    Keep your cholesterol in check by limiting your cannabis use and engaging in potential cholesterol prevention tools, like exercising and eating less fatty foods. To learn more about cannabis and cholesterol, click here.
    Thanks for reading! I know these topics were pretty heavy, but they’re important to discuss. Ginger will be back in your inbox on Wednesday with lighter health stories. Promise.
    Until next time,
    Take care of yourself, and we’ll see
    you again soon!
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