Recently, The Columbus Dispatch reported on the increasing availability of naloxone throughout Ohio, saying that according to the Ohio Board of Pharmacy, 1,000 pharmacies in 79 of Ohio’s 88 counties now offer naloxone without a prescription.
Pharmacies are “playing a key role in the fight against opioid addiction…Expanding this life-saving medication’s availability has resulted in thousands of lives being saved,” Rep. Robert Sprague, R-Findlay, a sponsor of the bill that made naloxone available without a prescription, told The Columbus Dispatch.
Naloxone is lifesaving antidote to an overdose. During an overdose, a person’s respiratory system shuts down. If administered soon enough, naloxone can reverse this effect, restoring breathing within minutes.
Recently, the powerful opioids fentanyl and carfentanil have made their way into Cincinnati’s heroin supply. These chemicals are many times stronger than regular heroin, and have substantially increased the rate of overdoses. They are so deadly that naloxone doesn’t always work well enough to reverse an overdose. Typically, one or two doses are enough to stabilize a patient. But with fentanyl and carfentanil, three, four or more doses of naloxone are required. Sadly, sometimes even that isn’t enough. Death from overdose are also on the rise.
Many police officers now carry naloxone with them, and EMT’s administer it when called. Often times, naloxone is given to a person who is overdosing by a friend or family member who is close by, in the same house or area. Getting naloxone into the hands of the people who are most likely to need to use it saves lives by decreasing the time it takes to respond to an overdose.
Overdose deaths are preventable. We rely on donations of naloxone from various sources in order to provide it free to our clients. You can also check out our “Get Naloxone” page to find local pharmacies that carry naloxone.