Narcan, an opioid-reversing drug, is now available in pharmacies nationwide without a prescription.

Naloxone, brand names Narcan and Evzio, is a life-saving medicine that rapidly reverses an opioid overdose. It does so by attaching to opioid receptors and reversing and blocking the effects of other opioids.

Naloxone can restore normal breathing to a person if their breathing has slowed or stopped because of an opioid overdose. Naloxone does not have any impact on someone who does not have opioids in their system.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved selling naloxone without a prescription earlier this year. Pharmacies started making it available nationwide this September.

Pharmacies across the United States are now selling a two-pack of single-dose Narcan nasal spray devices for $44.99. Many communities across the country have programs that offer free access to naloxone.

The availability of over-the-counter naloxone is not new in Michigan. The state passed a law in 2016 that allows pharmacists to dispense naloxone without a prescription and without identifying the patient.

NEXT Distro and Grand Rapids Red Project work together to get naloxone to people who use drugs and their family members. Click here to find resources near you or to get free naloxone mailed to you.

---> Substance use disorder resource guide: How to find treatment, harm reduction services in Michigan

How to use Narcan nasal spray

If you believe someone is experiencing an overdose, you should call 911 immediately and administer naloxone if it’s available.

Signs of an overdose can include pinpoint pupils, falling asleep, losing consciousness, slow breathing, no breathing, choking or gurgling sounds, limp body, cold or clammy skin, and discolored skin.

It is important to try to keep the person awake and breathing. You should move them to their side to prevent choking and stay with them until help arrives.

Michigan passed a Good Samaritan law in 2016. It prevents drug possession charges against those who seek medical assistance for an overdose in certain circumstances.

The video below is a step-by-step instruction video from the manufacturer on how to use and administer Narcan nasal spray:

Read: Can you overdose just by touching fentanyl? Many health experts say no

Michigan State Police Angel Program

The Michigan State Police Angel Program means anyone struggling with a substance use disorder can walk into an MSP post during business hours and ask for help.

People who request help will be guided through a substance abuse assessment and intake process to place them into treatment. A volunteer from the community will respond to the post to help them during the intake process and transport them to the treatment facility.

The program, which MSP began implementing in 2016, is nationally renowned. All MSP posts throughout Michigan participate in the program. You can click here to request a call from an Angel Program Coordinator, or call or text 517-897-2091.

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