With the recent surge in heroin overdose deaths throughout the nation, the need for prescription-free naloxone access is dire. Walgreens has announced that they will install naloxone dispensing kiosks in over half of its U.S. locations, more than 500 pharmacies in 39 states, UPI reports. The kiosks will primarily be in Walgreens' 24-hour locations.
CVS pharmacies have also started offering the same service in states where it is legal to dispense the life saving drug without a prescription, according to the article. Between the nation’s two largest drug stores, naloxone will reach thousands of addicts who previously were unable to acquire the drug.
"Walgreens pharmacists play an important role in counseling patients on the safe use of their medications, and now we are leading the way in retail pharmacy's fight against prescription drug abuse," Richard Ashworth, Walgreens president of pharmacy and retail operations, said in a statement. "We understand the challenges our communities face, and we stand ready to help our patients and customers lead healthier lives. When the stakes are this high, the solutions must be comprehensive."
The World Health Organization (WHO) has estimated that naloxone could prevent 20,000 opioid overdose deaths in the U.S., the article reports. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 44 people die from an overdose every day in America. Naloxone should be one of the weapons used to save lives; overdose survivors will often seek addiction treatment.
If you are struggling with opioid addiction, help is available at Hope By The Sea. It does not have to come to an overdose to be convinced that help is required. Please contact us to begin the journey of recovery.