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Narcan will soon be available over the counter


Narcan, the first opioid overdose reversal medication approved for over-the-counter purchase, is being distributed to drug stores and grocery store chains nationwide, as announced by its manufacturer. Major retailers like Walgreens, CVS, Walmart, and Rite Aid have expressed their expectation that Narcan will be available online and on many store shelves starting early next week.

Public health experts have advocated for greater accessibility to Narcan, considering it a crucial tool in combating the rising overdose rates. Over the last two years, the United States has witnessed over 100,000 overdose fatalities annually.

While Narcan is already widely used by emergency personnel and street outreach teams, there is now a push to make it readily available in various public settings, including libraries, subways, dormitories, corner stores, and even through street vending machines. Additionally, health officials anticipate that Narcan may become a common item in home medicine cabinets, as people become more aware of the potential presence of deadly fentanyl, an opioid, in illicit party drugs like cocaine and counterfeit Xanax pills.

How Narcan Works

Narcan is a nasal-spray version of the drug naloxone, which blocks an opioid’s effects on the brain, rescuing a person overcome by drugs like fentanyl, heroin or oxycodone.

An individual may be overdosing if his or her breathing is slowed or stopped, and the pupils of the eyes narrow to a pinpoint. Naloxone is generally considered so safe that experts say that, when confronted with a possible overdose, it is better to risk using it than to hesitate.

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