The drug used to reverse an opioid overdose is now available at any pharmacy in Mississippi.
A person can simply request the drug directly from a pharmacist and no prescription is required.
Through a standing order issued by Mississippi State Health Officer Dr. Mary Currier, pharmacists are now permitted to dispense the drug naloxone by request.
“Expansion of the availability and use of this drug could greatly reduce drug overdose deaths and save lives,” said Dr. Currier. “It’s important that Mississippians – any family member, friend or other person in a position to help someone suffering from an opioid overdose – are aware of the availability of this drug and know how to administer it if the need arises.”
Lately Mississippi has seen a significant increase in the number of opioid overdose deaths in the last several years. 172 people died in 2016 compared to 76 in 2011. This is an increase of 125%.
The Department of Health warns that users must know how to use naloxone and have it within reach if you are taking opioids prescribed for pain, someone misusing prescription opioids, someone who uses illicit opioids such as heroin or fentanyl, or if you live with or are often with people who have an opioid use disorder.
“We applaud Dr. Currier’s wisdom in offering another tool in our battle against opioid abuse and overdose deaths,” said Frank Gammill, executive director of the Mississippi Board of Pharmacy. “I am confident this will save lives. I challenge all pharmacies in Mississippi to participate in this standing order and offer this life-saving medication to their communities.”
Gammill said the Board of Pharmacy will continue in its effort to educate pharmacists and the public about naloxone.
“My staff will be immediately reaching out to pharmacists across the state to inform them of the details of this standing order,” he said.
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