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Author: Justin Mckibben
You may remember back in early 2016 the pharmacy organization Walgreens announced two programs to address key issues in the opioid crisis.
- Safe medical disposal kiosks for unused prescription drugs
- Narcan expansion programs
By the end of 2016, Walgreens had expanded access to the opioid overdose antidote without the requirement of a prescription to 33 states and the District of Columbia. The Narcan opioid overdose antidote, also known by the generic name Naloxone, is a nasal spray that is utilized all over the country as a means to revive someone experiencing an opioid overdose.
Now, this life-saving compound is becoming even more accessible, as Walgreens is announcing the Narcan opioid overdose antidote will now be available at all of its over 8,000 pharmacy locations!
Pharmacies Stepping Up to the State of Emergency
This new move to combat the opioid epidemic comes at a crucial time. The epidemic continues to claim lives every day, with recovery advocates and government officials rallying for more resources to fight the problem.
Today, Thursday, October 26, 2017, the nation is expecting President Donald Trump to officially declare the opioid crisis a public health emergency at a scheduled White House event.
According to Rick Gates, Vice President of Walgreens,
“By stocking Narcan in all our pharmacies, we are making it easier for families and caregivers to help their loved ones by having it on hand in case it is needed.”
The company offers Narcan opioid overdose antidote without a prescription in 45 states and is willing to work with the remaining states to make to include them.
Of course, the fight for more availability of Narcan and Naloxone has been going on for some time. However, it seems as the country is calling for more sweeping action from government officials; pharmacies are taking it as a call to action themselves. Rick Gates went on to say,
“As a pharmacy, we are committed to making Narcan more accessible in the communities we serve.”
Walgreens also says it will inform customers about the Narcan opioid overdose antidote if they receive drugs with more than 50 morphine milligram equivalents (MME). This is actually a recommendation from the CDC.
It isn’t just Walgreens either. CVS pharmacy has expanded access to Narcan and other products that contain naloxone. CVS reportedly has been offering prescription-free naloxone in up to 43 states as of last month. CVS pharmacies have said that its locations “in most communities have naloxone on hand and can dispense it the same day or ordered for the next business day.”
Big Pharma’s Role
Big Pharma wholesaler AmerisourceBergen is also helping in these efforts. AmerisourceBergen is now distributing Narcan demo devices at no cost to Walgreens pharmacists. These demo devices will help with instructing patients on how to administer the medication safely and effectively.
Robert Mauch, Executive Vice President & Group President, Pharmaceutical Distribution & Strategic Global Sourcing for AmerisourceBergen, states,
“At AmerisourceBergen, we strive to provide our customers the highest quality care and support so they can ultimately enhance the lives of patients in their communities,”
“We recognize the important role we play in addressing the opioid epidemic, and our collaboration with Walgreens is another key milestone to supply our customers with access to lifesaving initiatives and emergency medications that can help keep individuals safe across the country.”
Ironically, AmerisourceBergen just so happens to be one of the three largest drug distributors that were mentioned in the recent 60 Minutes interview with ex-DEA agent Joe Rannazzisi. In the segment that has since caused a major uproar, Rabbazzisi said companies including AmerisourceBergen controlled probably 85%- 90% of drugs that went “downstream” and ended up on the streets.
This might not be what Mauch meant by “recognize the important role we play”, but at least it seems like AmerisourceBergen is taking steps to become part of a solution.
Meanwhile, Adapt Pharma, the manufacturer of Narcan Nasal Spray, celebrates this action by Walgreens to expand naloxone and Narcan access. Seamus Mulligan, CEO at Adapt Pharma states,
“This action is an important milestone and we applaud Walgreens initiatives to improve access to Narcan Nasal Spray in communities across the U.S.,”
“This effort, combined with the opportunity for patients and caregivers to obtain Narcan Nasal Spray without an individual prescription in 45 states, is critical in combating this crisis.”
America is working hard to find the right path on the road to recovery from the devastating opioid crisis. It is crucial that we make every possible resource available to help save lives. With opioid overdose killing an estimated 91 people every day, the need for this life-saving medication could not be more evident.
Beyond reversing the effects of an overdose, there is more we need to do. While having access to Narcan and naloxone can help tremendously, we also need to promote recovery and addiction treatment resources. Preservation of life is important, but giving people the help they need to live a happier and healthier life should also be a priority in the fight to overcome the opioid crisis. Palm Partners Recovery Center believes in actively providing the best in innovative and holistic treatment opportunities, to help transform lives. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, we want to help. Please call toll-free now.
CALL NOW 1-800-951-6135
Author: Justin Mckibben
With the opioid epidemic in America there have been a lot of advances in the field of addiction treatment, as well as innovations in prevention and intervention. One of the most useful elements of preserving the lives of thousands of people across the country has been the development and implementation of the opioid overdose antidote Narcan. So many people are impacted by opioid abuse, and so many families and friends to addicts want to help in any way they can to give their loved ones an opportunity at surviving their struggles. A lot of people are still unsure how to obtain some of these life-saving resources, especially when it comes to the overdose antidote.
The truth is, basically anyone can get access to Naloxone or Narcan, with various expansion programs existing for the purpose of providing vital support to the communities afflicted. Also, anyone can be trained on how to use it. There are a few ways to obtain Narcan.
How Do You Get Narcan: What is Narcan/Naloxone
Just to verify, Narcan is the brand name of this life-saving medication. Naloxone is the generic name. Narcan (Naloxone) is used to counteract and reverse the deadly effects of an overdose of opiate drugs such as heroin, Oxycodone,Hydrocodone and others as well.
Naloxone hydrochloride, the scientific name, is a white to slightly off-white powder and is soluble in water. Naloxone Hydrochloride injection is available as a non-preserved sterile solution for intravenous, intramuscular or subcutaneous administration in 1 mg/mL concentration.
Narcan is also supplied as a nasal spray, which provides for a decreased risk factor and makes it easier to administer for many by eliminating needles. In these forms, Naloxone and Narcan expansion has become a very big part of combatting the opioid epidemic, and through many groups advocating for its use, Narcan has become available in many ways.
How Do You Get Narcan: CVS and Walgreens
One way is through pharmacy companies like CVS and Walgreens.
Back in late 2015, the pharmacy company CVS announced it would be selling the opioid overdose antidote naloxone without a prescription in 14 states. Then in early 2016 CVS announced they would be expanding the program to 20 states by the end of the year. Of course, pharmacy boards in each state can make the decisions about offering Naloxone or Narcan without a prescription, but CVS has worked to further grant access to people all over the nation. You can look online to see if it is available in your area.
Also in early 2016 the pharmacy organization Walgreens announced two programs to address key issues in the opioid crisis.
- Safe medical disposal kiosks for unused prescription drugs
- Narcan expansion
By the end of 2016 Walgreens had expanded naloxone access without the requirement of a prescription to 33 states and the District of Columbia. Walgreens also continues to express the intention to further expand these programs. A quick online search you let you know if it is currently available without a prescription at a Walgreens near you.
How Do You Get Narcan: Other Options
In truth there are a lot of different ways to get Narcan, depending on where you are. To name a few:
You can contact a family physician in order to gain access to a Naloxone or Narcan kit, and should even be able to get training on how to utilize it.
State or Local Health Department
Your state or local health department should be able to provide you with all the information about any Opioid Overdose Prevention Programs in your area that provide the resources and training for the overdose antidote.
Harm Reduction Organizations
There are clinics, community centers and other harm reduction organizations all over the country that work to provide extensive support, resources and information. The Harm Reduction Coalition is America’s national harm reduction network operating overdose prevention programs for years.
The Overdose Prevention Alliance (OPA)
The OPA is a home for information and debate on drug overdose worldwide. It operates with the goal of cutting overdose and mortality rates. The OPA aims to collect and document major issues in overdose worldwide, encourage overdose prevention initiatives. Finding this resource could also be a huge help.
How Do You Get Narcan: Making a Difference
In the end, there are so many avenues someone can take to obtain this crucial tool in the fight against opioid overdose. Some community leaders even organize local workshops where they invite the public to come and get training on how to use Naloxone or Narcan. Some colleges even provide Naloxone kits to students, and many of both kinds of programs are free of charge.
The goal with any program is to try and save lives. At the end of the day that is what it comes down to; saving lives. Every bit of these resources makes a difference.
Still, beyond being revived from an overdose; beyond having access to the opioid overdose antidote is the need for safe and effective treatment. Having a second chance means using it. Keeping someone alive after a nearly fatal overdose is a huge feat, but there has to be more to helping someone, and that is where holistic drug and alcohol treatment programs make the biggest difference.
If you or someone you love have survived an opioid overdose and don’t know what to do next, do not hesitate to get help. If you or someone you love is struggling, please call toll-free now. We want to help.
CALL NOW 1-800-951-6135
Here are your crazy news stories of the week!
Major Field Sobriety Test Fail
A lady in Marion County was taken to jail Thursday when deputies say she was intoxicated at a gas station and chuckled in their faces when asked if she was drunk. Deputies said 54-year-old Lori Ann Krosser staggered out of the Kangaroo Express gas station on Southwest 103rd Street in Ocala and went to her car at one of the pumps. The report said that Krosser “had very slurred speech and smelled strongly of an alcoholic beverage.” Deputies tried to do a field sobriety test, but they said Krosser was so drunk that she started stumbling in random directions and into one of the officers, deputies stated. Deputies said that when they arrested her and took her to Marion County Jail she urinated in her pants, declined to take a breathalyzer or sign any documents and confessed to owning marijuana that was discovered in her purse when she arrived. Krosser has been charged with driving under the influence, possession of marijuana and smuggling contraband into a detention facility.
Man Sets off Military Style Explosive on Another Man’s Car
A DeBary man was arrested and charged with explosion of a military device on the hood of the car of an Orange City man who took his cellphone and gave it back without the SIM card that holds personal informations, Orange City police stated. 29-year-old Aaron Nesbitt who is a former employee of Mickey Finns Restaurant at 816 Saxon Blvd., was livid with 25-year-old Armanny Echevarria of Orange City over the phone occurrence, police said. So, on Sunday at 7:49 p.m., Nesbitt went to the parking lot of the restaurant where Echevarria worked and placed a military artillery simulator explosive (an M-21) on the hood of Echevarria’s car, said Orange City police spokesman Lt. Jason Sampsell.
Man Confesses to Shooting of Apopka Police Officers Car
20-year-old Tyler Endsley of Apopka was arrested on Tuesday after police said he confessed to shooting up an Apopka police car at a 7-Eleven. An unidentified tip led officers to him. He told detectives he was high on Xanax and marijuana when he shot the patrol car with a 10-gauge shotgun at about 4 a.m. Sunday, department spokesman Officer Ed Chittenden stated. Police arrested Endsley on charges of attempted armed robbery, use of a firearm during a felony, displaying a firearm in public and criminal mischief.
Couple Caught Having Sex in a Walgreens Restroom
Winter Haven Police say that at about 8:10 p.m. on Saturday, 24-year-old Christopher Mahurin and 22-year-old Jenna Lynn Frey had sex in one of the stalls of the women’s restroom at the Walgreens set at 805 Havendale Blvd. N.W. While the pair was still in the stall, a 6-year-old girl came in the bathroom while her father stood close by. Mahurin left the stall completely naked and immediately pushed the girl towards the door and she began shouting, according to police. The girl’s father, who was just outside of the restroom door, overheard the shrieks and entered the restroom to get his daughter. When officers arrived, Mahurin and Frey were in a car in the parking lot. Originally the pair denied the event saying that Frey only went in to use the restroom. Though, after additional questioning, Frey told officers that they had sex in the stall. Mahurin was retained into the Polk County Jail on charges of lewd/lascivious exhibition, indecent exposure in public, battery and knowingly driving with suspended or revoked license .
If you or a loved one are struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll free 1-800-951-6135.
Walgreens, the largest pharmacy chain in the country, reached a settlement with federal authorities, marking an end to a DEA probe that uncovered an “unprecedented number” of dispensing and record keeping violations of the Controlled Substances Act. The oversights allowed tens of thousands of units of powerful painkillers such as oxycodone to illegally wind up in the hands of drug addicts and dealers, according to officials.
The target of the probe was a major East Coast distribution center in Jupiter, FL, and six retail pharmacies around the state. Officials say the Jupiter distribution center failed to flag suspicious orders of drugs it received from pharmacies, and the retail outlets routinely filled prescriptions that clearly were not for a legitimate medical use. The distribution center was the largest supplier of oxycodone to retail pharmacies in Florida, the DEA said.
Mark R. Trouville, chief of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s Miami field office, called Walgreens’ actions “a clear example of inexcusable corporate conduct that existed only for greed and profit. National pharmaceutical chains are not exempt from following the law.”
In a statement, Kermit Crawford, president of pharmacy, health and wellness at Walgreens, said, “As the largest pharmacy chain in the U.S., we are fully committed to doing our part to prevent prescription drug abuse. We have worked closely with the DEA over the past several months to reach this agreement.”
Walgreens has taken steps “to ensure appropriate dispensing of controlled substances,” Crawford said. This includes measures such as enhancing its ordering and inventory systems and training its employees.
Florida’s Prescription Pill Epidemic
With the advent of the pill mill, prescription drug abuse in Florida was upgraded from problem to epidemic. These offices employed physicians who would treat patients on a cash-only basis and prescribe copious amounts of pain medication without clear medical need. Drug seeking individuals from other southern states began to travel en masse to Florida to get these prescriptions. Many of them would then sell the pills on the streets of their home states for up to forty times what they paid.
Every day, seven people die as a result of prescription drug abuse in Florida. Prescription drug related deaths now outpace deaths from automobile accidents. An ongoing crackdown in recent years — including passage of better prescription monitoring laws and numerous arrests of doctors, clinic operators and pharmacy owners — has reduced the number of illegal “pill mills” operating in the state.
Unfortunately, now that so many pill mills have been closed, Florida law enforcement has seen a significant increase in import and sales of street drugs. Also, there has been a huge spike in armed robberies of pharmacies and drug cargo heists.
There isn’t enough being done for those who have become addicted as a result of prescription drug abuse in Florida. Because these are highly addictive medications, an addicted individual doesn’t just quit when he no longer has access to the pills through a doctor’s office. When their primary source of drugs is unavailable, prescription drug abusers are forced to go elsewhere to fuel their habit.
If you or someone you love is addicted to prescription drugs, please give us a call at 800-951-6135.