CHEYENNE, Wyo.(RELEASE)- Albertsons and Safeway announced the availability of NARCAN® (naloxone HCI) Nasal Spray in all ten Albertsons and Safeway pharmacies in Wyoming. According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), naloxone has saved 26,463 lives nationwide over the past 20 years. Opioid abuse is a growing epidemic in the United States and when dealing with an overdose, every second matters. The lifesaving anti-overdose drug NARCAN® is now available at Safeway and Albertsons stores in Wyoming without a prescription.
“Heroin and opioid abuse is a serious health and public safety threat that cannot be ignored. By stocking NARCAN® Nasal Spray in our pharmacies, we hope to give our communities -- the family, friends and caregivers of those struggling with addiction a tool that might help prevent the avoidable loss of a loved one,” said Nikki Price, Director of Pharmacy Operations, Albertsons/Safeway Denver Division.
NARCAN® Nasal Spray is the first and only FDA-approved naloxone nasal spray for the emergency treatment of opioid-, fentanyl- and heroin-related overdose. It is now available as a ready-to-use, needle-free, 4 mg concentrated dose of naloxone in a single spray. NARCAN® is an opiate antidote that reverses the effects of an overdose by attaching “to the same parts of the brain that receive heroin and other opioids”. NARCAN® blocks the opioids for 30-90 minutes to reverse the respiratory depression that would otherwise lead to death. In addition to heroin, certain prescription drugs including hydrocodone, oxycodone and morphine are considered opioids. NARCAN® is not an effective remedy for overdoses of non-opioid drugs like methamphetamine or cocaine.
The Laramie County Sheriff's Department's Lt. Don Hollingshead said the drug helps save lives. He said, "It's effects are amazing. It brings them right back."
However, Hollingshead says the drug doesn't help the addiction problem, itself. Acting as a safety net, Hollingshead says it can give a drug addict another opportunity or excuse to use it once more and not get clean and sober.
However controversial the drug may be, Price says it boils down to giving those another chance, especially in an accidental situation. She added, "It's a band aid for a bigger root cause issue, but it's certainly a band aid that's protecting lives."