Walgreens Pharmacy has made Naloxone, an opioid antidote, available over the counter in Louisiana. LSU Health New Orleans Professor of Psychiatry James Becnel says there is an opioid overdose every 18 hours in Louisiana. He says not only addicts, but anyone who has an opioid prescription for more than two weeks should purchase naloxone.
“Some of those overdose deaths are not people who are abusing the medication but simply have an interaction with other medications or change in health status.”
Becnel says the response from EMS is usually not quick enough, so having naloxone on hand could save someone from dying of an overdose.
“Someone who has stopped breathing and is near death, with the dose of naloxone it immediately turns that around. People start breathing, their heart rate goes back up.”
The price of Naloxone varies, with the easiest method of a nasal spray costing around 65 dollars. Becnel hopes more pharmacies will make this available…
“The reality is that these people have an illness, often times that’s the people who are ending up in an overdose situation. There is no reason for them to die from this, we can treat it.”