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Rite Aid offers anti-overdose drug without prescription; state launches website to find naloxone

Naloxone

Naloxone, which rapidly reverses the effects of heroin and other opioids. (WPIX)

HARTFORD–As the state continues to fight the opioid epidemic that has caused many serious, and even fatal, overdoses, several steps are being taken to help those fighting addiction.

On Monday, Rite Aid announced that it would begin offering naloxone, the generic name for an anti-opioid overdose medication, without a prescription.

“As a community healthcare provider, we have a responsibility to do our part in the fight against opioid abuse and that’s why Rite Aid has made it a priority to expand access to this life-saving medication in the communities we serve,” said Jocelyn Konrad, Rite Aid executive vice president of pharmacy.

The medication reverses the effects of a heroin, fentanyl and other opioid overdoses, and has saved hundreds of lives in Connecticut so far this year.

Connecticut is one of 13 states that Rite Aid is launching this program in; the others include Alabama, California, Colorado, Idaho, Indiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island.

In the past, naloxone was only available if a doctor prescribed it. The benefit to making it over-the-counter is that those who aren’t seeking treatment may have a chance to be saved from an overdose.

Naloxone is offered as both an injection and as a nasal spray.

On Wednesday, Gov. Dan Malloy and the Department of Consumer Protection announced that a new online tool is being launched so that residents can find the closest pharmacy to them that offers the life-saving drug. Currently, 363 pharmacies statewide are able to offer naloxone without a doctor prescription.

Click here to access that website.