Harvard Health Blog

CPR: A neglected but important part of fighting the opioid crisis

By: Stephen P. Wood, MS, ACNP-BC, Contributor Opioid overdose is a frightening and potentially life-threatening event. Rescue drugs like naloxone are lifesaving, but the value of CPR doesn’t get as much attention. And it should. How does opioid overdose lead to death? Opioids (like oxycodone, heroin, and fentanyl) bind to special receptors in the brain called mu receptors. These receptors are responsible for a variety of functions, most importantly breathing. When the…

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