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Narcan is now available over the counter

The Food and Drug Administration approved Narcan to be available to the public as the number of overdoses has increased. Photo courtesy of VCU Capital News Service/Flickr

It is a nationwide crisis-overdosing on opioids, and soon, a drug overdose reversal will be sold over the counter around the country. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Narcan to be available to the public as the number of overdoses has increased.  

Narcan was created to help save lives and reverse an overdose of opioids. Otherwise known as naloxone, Narcan is a nasal spray that could save the lives of thousands across the country.

Unlike fentanyl and oxycodone, naxalone is harm free and can save hundreds of lives. For many years, naloxone was classified as a prescribed drug and accessibility limited the amount people could buy due to medication costs and the quantity available.

 Narcan is now being sold over the counter and will soon be found at local drugstores for a potentially more affordable price. This also allows people to purchase the item without prescription.  

Local pharmacist, Hope Fierro, talks about the drug and how vital the information behind it is to those who may need to use it one day in case of an emergency.  

“It’s a drug that has been approved by the FDA for a long, long time,” Fierro said. 

“We usually see it here (hospital) like in emergency crash carts because what happens is it reverses the effects of opioids when dealing with any type of overdose even in a controlled setting in a hospital.”  

Even though naxalone has been known for some time, what makes this so revolutionary is how it no longer needs a prescription. This opens a gateway to saving lives.  

“A lot of people don’t know about what they are taking could potentially be deadly so by making this particular drug available it could save more lives.” Fierro said. 

UTEP student Finch Smith explains how they attend local band shows and mentions what they witness at times during shows.  

“I’ve seen people at shows overdose or get fentanyl poisoning and being able to have quick access to Narcan like that is so important,” Smith said. “I know a couple people who always try to bring Narcan with them to shows just in case something bad like that happens.”  

When even looking at some well-known celebrities such as Prince, Tom Petty, Mac Miller and even famous rapper Coolio, who recently passed, fentanyl was found in their autopsy reports according to national news reports. The question now could be, if they had access to Narcan, would the outcome have been different? 

UTEP student Aaron Hernandez talks about how he experienced using Narcan to save a life.  

“I was in Manhattan and my friends were not being the most responsible,” Hernandez said. “What I can say on that is that while it is not a miracle drug, if the response had been any later, then there would have been a worse outcome than what already happened. I think readily available Narcan is the safest thing possible, which is why I want to see it sold over the counter.”

According to the CDC, over 100,000 deaths occurred due to opioid overdoses within the United States in 2021. 

 About 40 percent of those deaths, someone else was present, indicating the essential need for naloxone to be able to have easy access to.  

Now although there is no exact comment on what the retail price could entail, it is something to reflect on how the overall impact this life-saving drug could offer to the public. 

It is no mystery the availability of naloxone over the counter is a great step in terms of accessibility to certain drugs that the public needs.  

Marco Hinojosa is the audience and engagement editor and may be reached at [email protected]. 

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About the Contributor
Marco Hinojosa
Marco Hinojosa, Audience and Engagement
Marco Hinojosa is the audience and engagement editor for The Prospector. He is a junior at the University of Texas at El Paso majoring multimedia journalism with a minor in criminal justice. He plans to broaden his horizons as a journalist and work for a major broadcast company.
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Narcan is now available over the counter