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Ohio CVS Stores Plan to Carry Heroin Antidote without Prescription

Update Date: Feb 01, 2016 10:24 AM EST

CVS stores in Ohio have plans to make the heroin antidote drug, naloxone, which is also known as Narcan, available without a prescription.

According to The Blade newspaper, officials at the drugstore chain will be discussing this new initiative and drug abuse topics with state Attorney General Mike DeWine and White House national drug policy director Michael Botticelli in a forum at the University of Toledo's Scott Park Student Center.

Prior to the start of the forum, CVS officials will provide details about how they plan on making naloxone more readily available to drug users and health-care professionals.

The Lucas Country Health Department and the Lucas County Mental Health and Recovery Services Board have already made moves to increase the availability of naloxone. Since November, they have been distributing naloxone kits to the public with the hopes of preventing deaths from overdoses.

"When it was first given to safety forces, some people objected to it being in the hands of nonprofessionals," Lucas County Sheriff John Tharp said. "We are in a heroin epidemic and this is just another tool to step up and be able to save lives."

Naloxone is a prescription drug used to treat narcotic overdoses. It works by suppressing the effects that an opioid overdose would have on the brain. The drug can be administered via a nasal inhaler or an injection.

In Ohio last year, naloxone was used nearly 13,000 times, the Department of Public Safety records showed. Naloxone is most commonly administered by the police and emergency responders.

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