By: Bethany Winkel
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Narcan Available at Local Pharmacies
The opiate antidote, Narcan, is now available at major pharmacies without a prescription. The drug has been used by first responders and given to some civilians in recent years, but it is now more widely available, and many believe it can save even more lives.
Narcan is an antidote for opiates like heroin or prescription painkillers. It immediately reverses an opiate overdose and restores breathing, saving the person’s life. With the increase in the number of people abusing opiates, drugs like Narcan are becoming a lifesaver for many.
According to US Attorney General Eric Holder, over 100 Americans die every day from drug overdoses, more than gunshot deaths or traffic accidents. In July of last year, Holder encouraged the use of Narcan. “I am confident that expanding the availability of naloxone (Narcan) has the potential to save lives, families and futures of countless people across the nation,” he said.
While Narcan does save lives, it is important to offer treatment and rehab for those that have survived an overdose. These individuals need a way to turn their lives around so that they are not controlled by their addiction and so they won’t be at risk for any more overdoses.
“No one is saying Narcan is the cure-all, by any stretch of the imagination,” says Dr. McDonald, Chief Administrative Officer on the Board of Medical Licensure and Discipline at the Department of Health. “But it does have that special niche role, which is to convert the overdose that would have been a death to just an overdose that’s now survived. Then you have that chance to have that conversation about, ‘What does treatment look like for this person?’”
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