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CVS the latest Idaho pharmacy chain to offer overdose reversal medication

Doctor demonstrates emergency use of opioid blocking naloxone

Dr. Magni Hamso, a physician at Terry Reilly Health Services in Boise, treats many patients coping with opioid addiction and is strong advocate of naloxone. The drug can save lives when administered to overdose victims in the time it takes paramed
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Dr. Magni Hamso, a physician at Terry Reilly Health Services in Boise, treats many patients coping with opioid addiction and is strong advocate of naloxone. The drug can save lives when administered to overdose victims in the time it takes paramed

CVS pharmacies in Nampa and Twin Falls are now offering the opioid overdose-reversal medication Naloxone at its stores in Nampa and Twin Falls.

“We are dedicated to helping the communities we serve address and prevent drug abuse and we are expanding access to Naloxone to give more people a chance to get the help they need for recovery,” Tom Davis, a CVS official, said in a written release.

Naloxone counteracts the effects of a heroin or opiate overdose on the central nervous and respiratory systems, allowing a person to breath normally within three to five minutes. If administered in time it can save a life, Boise physician Magni Hosma told the Idaho Statesman last spring.

A new Idaho law went into effect in July 2015, allowing people suffering from a drug use disorder, their friends and family members to obtain Naloxone without a prescription. The statute shields anyone who administers Naloxone from liability if the person calls 911.

In 2013, 249 million prescriptions for opioids were written in the United States — 80 percent of the world’s total. Idaho doctors a year earlier wrote 86 prescriptions for painkillers for every 100 people.

CVS now offers Naloxone to patients without a prescription in 31 states.

Fred Meyer and Rite-Aid also offer Naloxone at their Idaho stores. Walgreens says it will stock the medication in its Idaho stores by the end of the year.

Marcia Lee Taylor, president of the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, a nonprofit that works to reduce substance abuse by adolescents, applauded the move.

“Increasing access to Naloxone is a critical public health priority that allows patients and their families to prevent opioid fatalities and recognize when people need help working towards recovery from the disease of addiction,” Taylor said.

CVS also offers online information on promoting drug abuse prevention.

The site also includes information on a community outreach program launched last year by CVS Health, Pharmacists Teach, which uses local pharmacists to speak to high school health classes about the dangers of drug abuse. More than 100,000 students nationwide have taken part in the program.

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