Thanks to the medical field’s improvement, family, and friends of patients or heroin users addicted to strong painkillers can now use naloxone as an antidote to reverse the devastating effect of an overdose.
The brand-name of naloxone is Narcan. The benefit of this treatment is that it can revive someone who fainted and stopped breathing because of an opioid overdose. Opioids are highly addictive drugs, such as illegal narcotics and powerful painkillers like Vicodin.
Until recently, naloxone has been available only in hospitals, first responders, such as paramedics and in clinics. Fortunately, almost every state issued laws that allow people to purchase naloxone without the need of a prescription from a doctor.
According to Dr. Corey Waller of the American Society of Addiction Medicine, this medication saves lives and does not appear to have any side effects that could harm people. Walk-Mart, Target, Rite Aid, CVS, and Walgreens brought their contribution in making the access to naloxone easier through their pharmacies in many states from the United States.
The grocer Kroger is selling it without prescription in several states as well. The statistics have shown that over 28,000 opioid-related deaths were recorded in 2014. Worse, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention underlined that 78 Americans die every day because of an opioid overdose.
If naloxone is sprayed in the nostrils or injected can restore an overdose victim’s breathing within a few minutes. Nevertheless, there are some limitations regarding its access in retailers, such as drugstores. The price of the drug is $80 each dose or even more expensive, making it hardly affordable for people who have no insurance coverage or little disposable income.
Plus, customers need to ask a pharmacist for it. According to John Beckner, a pharmacist with the National Community Pharmacists Association, naloxone is still a powerful drug, so people need to follow some instruction on the correct way to use it.
Furthermore, Beckner stated that pharmacists can also teach every customer how to figure out which are the signs of an overdose, administer the drug and for what side effects to look.
According to the Network Public Health Law, a nonprofit organization that helps government agencies, just five states, such as Wyoming, Montana, Missouri, Kansas, Hawaii have not passed a law yet to grant the access to naloxone in drug stores and pharmacies.
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