WESTFIELD, Mass. (The Westfield News) —By now, many people know that naloxone is one of the best options to save someone from an opiate overdose, but how easy it is for people to acquire?
For those who are unfamiliar, naloxone—also known as Narcan—is a mediation used to reverse opiate overdoses. Naloxone works by binding itself to the same receptors in the brain that opiates do but do not cause the side effects of opiates, including slower to no breathing or possible unconsciousness.
One option for someone to get naloxone is to be prescribed the medication by their physician. Once they are prescribed it, they can fill it at a pharmacy and have a dose on them in the case of an overdose. However, the medication is not something that someone can typically administer to themselves.
Another option in Massachusetts is to get naloxone at many local pharmacies due to a standing order, which is a physician’s order that can be done under certain conditions by other healthcare workers. This allows pharmacies to dispense naloxone kits to people, but there must be requirements met and personal information must be gathered.
According to the Massachusetts’ Department of Health website, the locations in Westfield where this is applicable are CVS Pharmacies on East Main Street and Elm Street, Rite Aid on East Silver Street, Walgreens on Main Street and Arrow Prescription Center on North Elm Street.
When someone does attempt to get naloxone from a pharmacy, they must provide the pharmacist with personal information and are also able to use health insurance to help cover the cost. Some health insurances, like Medicaid, may cover the cost completely, but the costs may vary based on insurance.
For someone that does not have insurance or opts not to use it, the costs for a naloxone kit can be anywhere from $45 to $110, according to CVS Pharmacy’s corporate office.
Copyright 2016 The Westfield News