It cannot be stressed enough; there is need for greater access to the life saving opioid overdose reversal drug naloxone in the United States, especially when you consider that the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 44 people die every day from an overdose. In recent years, there has been call from both addiction experts and lawmakers for expanded access to naloxone, sold under the brand name Narcan. The drug was recently approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to be used in nasal spray form, which makes it easier for people without any medical knowledge to administer the miracle drug.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has stated that expanded naloxone access could save more than 20,000 lives per year in the United States. It is estimated that the drug saved 10,000 lives between 2006 and 2010.
In a number of states and cities across the country, naloxone can now be acquired without a prescription. This means that both opioid users and their families can purchase the drug with little effort, and more lives will be saved. CVS pharmacies in 13 states are preparing to offer naloxone over the counter, EMS 1 reports. With the rise in heroin use across the country, a byproduct of the prescription opioid epidemic, the likelihood of overdose rates increasing is great.
“Over 44,000 people die from accidental drug overdoses every year in the United States and most of those deaths are from opioids, including controlled substance pain medication and illegal drugs such as heroin.” said Tom Davis, vice president of pharmacy professional practices at CVS/pharmacy. “Naloxone is a safe and effective antidote to opioid overdoses and by providing access to this medication in our pharmacies without a prescription in more states, we can help save lives.”
The states where naloxone will be offered over the counter include:
- New Jersey
- North Dakota
- South Carolina
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If you or a loved one is battling opioid addiction, please contact Celebrate Hope at Hope by The Sea. We can help you learn how to live free from addiction and begin your journey of recovery.