Nevada is making strides in the fight against the opioid epidemic. It just became easier to purchase a drug that reverses the effects of an overdose.
Naloxone is now available over the counter state-wide. This month, Nevada joined 37 states which now sell Naloxone without a prescription.
Access to this life-saving drug was limited when Keri Krumm was battling her opioid addiction.
“My family was aware that I was over using my medication,” said Krumm
She has been clean for almost three years, but back then, she says her family kept her alive.
“It was terrible for them that they were so hyper-vigilant,” said Krumm
Last year, the state legislature approved Senate Bill 459 making it legal to sell Naloxone over the counter.
Before that, pharmacies required a prescription from a doctor.
“I think it helps reduce the stigma and we realize that addiction is a disease,” said David Marlon, CEO of Solutions Recovery.
Marlon has worked with state leaders to make the drug more accessible.
“If there’s a mom, a dad, a spouse, a loved one out there and you know someone is using opiates maybe you think they’re in control, it really makes sense for you to have Naloxone available,” said Marlon.
CVS is the first, and currently the only major pharmacy chain in Nevada selling the overdose reversal medication over the counter.
It comes the forms of an injection and a nasal spray.
“The disease of addiction is really powerful, and we want to help people any way we can, but there will be dangers to having this available too,” said Marlon.
Marlon is aware of concerns that Naloxone could be an inhibitor for opioid addicts.
“As a guy in recovery myself, I understand that mindset,” said Marlon.
He says the benefits outweigh the risks.
“Having Naloxone ready, could mean the difference between life or death,” said Marlon.
While Naloxone can block the effects of an overdose, it does not cure an addiction.
“I think it’s just talking about it and not being ashamed of it. It happens you know, and then we get passed it and we recover,” said Krumm.
While no prescription is required, CVS keeps Naloxone behind the pharmacy counter.
Without insurance, the medication can cost between $45 and $110.