Drug Legalization

Life-Saving Anti-Opiate Drug Naloxone Now More Widely Available in California


I reported last year on California passing into law a potentially life-saving bill allowing for over the counter sales of the anti-opiate drug naloxone, quoting from a release from the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) that helped push the bill through the state legislature:

Governor Jerry Brown signed Assemblymember Richard Bloom's pharmacy naloxone bill (AB 1535), which will permit pharmacists to furnish the opiate overdose reversal medicine naloxone hydrochloride upon request. Previously, naloxone was available only by prescription from a healthcare provider or from a handful of naloxone distribution programs throughout the state. 

Now the CVS chain has announced the drug's availability in 58 stores around the state.

DPA has more on its statewide availability in California, and sums up its value:

Naloxone is a medication that rapidly reverses the respiratory depression resulting from an opiate overdose caused by drugs such as heroin, oxycodone and methadone. It is standard practice for emergency personnel to administer naloxone when summoned to the scene of a suspected opiate overdose. Naloxone has no psychoactive or addictive qualities and very few side effects. After a simple training, naloxone can be safely administered by laypeople, including family members and peers, either by intramuscular injection or with a nasal spray. 

More on naloxone's incredibly life saving properties if administered promptly to someone suffering an opiate overdose. If you know anyone who is at risk of an opiate overdose, it's good stuff to have access to, and the federal Food and Drug Administration ought to make it nationally over-the-counter legal.

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  1. Is this the stuff that turns the main character into Hitler in Pink Floyd’s Comfortably Numb?


    1. No, that’s Spam. Mmm….

  2. Hopefully CVS will stock it next to the black magic markers.

  3. So, is someone in the midst of a heroin overdose supposed to stumble down to the CVS to save them? Or are heroin users supposed to have the drug on-hand at all times just in case they overdose? Not doubting the abilities of this drug, just trying to understand how it gets to those who need it.

    1. I’d get some just to stash in my first aid kit, next to the syrup of ipecac, benadryl, epi pen, immodium, dental tools, emergency inhaler and other sundries that while not used very often are exceptionally helpful when a situation does arise. Whilst out camping and hunting, I’m the person people run to because my well-stocked first aid kit has become a legend.

      1. Nurse Busty used to give us Naxo when I was in the 90s junkie scene. We never had to use it but could have used it before she showed up.

    2. Yes, if you or anyone you live with or love messes with the shit, it’s a smart thing to have in the house, along with bandaids, toothpaste, or any other only-in-emergency need.

  4. So… I don’t have to stab her three times?

  5. Man, I don’t want nothin’ that’s gonna keep me from overdosin’ on opiates. That’s the reason I TAKE opiates, is to overdose and feel good.

    But I don’t want to impose my reliijin on others, so if they want to take these bad drugs, the gummint shouldn’t stop them.

  6. More people should realize this avenue for drug reform at the state level. “Caution: Federal law prohibits dispensing without a prescription.” But federal law doesn’t specify who’s allowed to do the prescribing. The state can allow a pharmacist, for instance, to do it, as in this case.

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