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The idea of a heroin antidote sold without prescription at Walgreens is about to come true. The antidote in question is Naxolone which will be available in pharmacies across 34 states.
The announcement was made yesterday by the company and its purpose it to combat the misuse of drugs. Naxolone or Narcan is meant to reverse effects of opioid or heroin overdose. It can come in either nasal spray or injection form and will be included in insurance plans. However, people without insurance will still be able to buy one dose for $78 under Walgreens Prescription Savings Club. Doctors usually prescribe two doses in case of a relapse.
Those in need will have to ask a pharmacist in order to buy it since the antidote will not be available on the shelves of the pharmacy. Naxolone will be provided starting this year, but the company has not released a date yet.
Furthermore, Walgreens will build special kiosks for the safe disposal of old medications in all pharmacies across 39 states. Naxolone has been sold over the counter by CVS, but Wallgreens will be first pharmacy to do so in the state of Illinois.
Numerous people have started using either opioids or heroin in suburbs, and thus schools and police departments are stocking the drug. Naxolone has saved over 170 lives in 2014 alone. According to official reports, 18 people in Kane County, 55 in Lake County and 100 in DuPage County managed to cheat death with the antidote.
However, officials also have to focus on the lives of these people after they are saved by Naxolone, as Undersheriff of Lake County Ray Rose has stated. Walgreens’ actions are just the beginning towards fighting against drug use. But what is the opinion of drug users themselves?
Former heroin addict Chris Reed believes that this is an important step towards beating addiction. Reed currently owns a successful sober bar named The Other Side in Crystal Lake. Additionally, he also organizes weekly support groups that gather up to one hundred people per session. Naxolone saved his life twice and some weeks later he managed to completely get rid of his addiction. Reed acknowledges that without the antidote he could not have had all this now.
The heroin antidote sold without prescription at Walgreens is going to become a reality and will surely help many people overcome their vices and addictions. Apart from saving their lives, it is also the first step towards completely getting rid of the need for opioids and heroin.
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