Amazing news– even if it’s only one state. CVS Pharmacies has announced that all 80 of their stores in Rhode Island will begin offering Narcan, also known as Naloxone (and long known in many harm reduction circles as “the Lazarus drug”), over the counter and without a prescrition.
This drug can reverse a fatal opoid overdose and restore breathing. While it is legal in all 50 states, in generally requires a prescription, although increasingly states are moving to allow its distribution with someone having to see a doctor.
Sadly, I remember 20 years ago when harm reduction groups were being arrested for stocking it or supplying it. And many localities were barring emergency first responders from carrying it. And I have little doubt that much of the change is because we have seen a shift from people predominantly dying from Heroin to people dying from Oxycodone and other synthetic opoid painkillers. too often in our society there has been a sense that, as I titled one of my earliest posts here: Drug Addicts Deserve to Die . But I am excited to see this step. And hope it will spread nationwide sooner rather then later. Because drug addicts don’t deserve to die. They don’t deserve to be locked up. They deserve to be offered help- regardless of whether that is help to get clean, or to survive long enough to be ready to get clean.