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Overdose reversal drug Narcan now at Florida CVS without prescription

Posted at 3:43 PM, Jul 01, 2016
A new law taking effect has the potential to save countless lives and fight a dangerous trend that's touching more of your neighbors than ever.
 
Starting Friday, an overdose-reversal drug is available at pharmacies without a prescription. It covers everything from prescription pain pills to heroin.
 
The latest numbers show opioids killed more than 1,700 people in Florida in the first half of 2015 alone. Heroin deaths during that time have jumped 107 percent from 2014  to 2015.
 
Narcan, or its generic version called naloxone, is set to be available in all Florida CVS locations in a nasal version. However, recovery experts warn this is not a cure.

 
"It was just panic and then everything went black," said one recovering heroin and painkiller addict, who ABC Action News is calling William. "My body went before my mind did. So I felt very trapped in my own body."
 
A friend arrived to help just in time, but in many overdose cases, it's often too late.
 
But now, the drug Narcan is available in all Florida CVS locations in a nasal spray. When the opiates tell your brain to stop breathing, Narcan fights that.
 
"Narcan competes for that, takes over, starts you breathing and waking up again," said Robin Piper, CEO of Turning Point of Tampa.
 
The nasal administration of the generic naloxone will be $90 for the two doses needed, according to CVS Health.
 
With regard to insurance, it depends on the plan, but generally insurance will cover this medication if the patient is obtaining it for themselves or someone else covered under their plan, CVS Health told ABC Action News. For example, a mom could pick it up for an adult child if the child was still covered under her plan. But you could not use your insurance if you were buying it for a friend, just like any other medication, according to CVS Health.
 
Piper recommends family members of those suspected of using heroin, painkillers and other opiates have Narcan on hand in case an overdose happens because it needs to be administered as soon as possible.
 
"The longer a person's deprived of oxygen, the less chance they have of recovery," Piper said.
 
But addiction experts warn that Narcan is not a fix for heroin or painkiller problems.
 
"It's not going to cure your addiction to opiates," Piper said. "It's not going to cure the drug addiction."
 
Those in recovery say ultimately a treatment program is what's needed, not just the Narcan alone.
 
"It will revive you from an overdose," William said. "It will make you breathe again. It will make you get up and walk around again, but it's not going to get rid of the psychological disease of addiction." 
 
He hopes others will survive with Narcan and get the help they desperately need.