Bissell’s pharmacy in Ridgefield has become the latest outlet to sell Narcan, popular for counteracting opioid drugs and heroin overdoses. Being the trade name of naloxone, Narcan can be used to reverse the effects of an opiate overdose in victims with severe conditions such as difficulty in breathing. Apart from heroin, other drugs that can be counteracted by Narcan include methadone, oxycodone, codeine and morphine.
According to information from Bissell’s, the available form of Narcan is an injection that has been around since March 4th. In a few days, the nasal spray is expected to be on sale too. Speaking to the media, Bissell’s owner, Edmund Karvosky, said that he already has the nasal spray. He also indicated that he is putting a few final touches to the plans to make it available. It is important to note that Edmund has been certified by the state to sell these drugs.
Anonymity When Buying The Antidote
Anyone who wants to purchase Narcan does not have to give their names. In fact, they do not even need to have a prescription before they can be allowed to buy it. This has been attributed to a law that allows any trained pharmacists such as Edmund to dispense the life-saving drugs. Just a few months ago in September, there was an announcement from the Department of Consumer Protection that training and certification of pharmacists would commence. And Edmund says that apart from selling the drug he also gives his patients a form notifying them where they can find treatment.
When patients need treatment after using Narcan to counter the effects of opioids and other drugs, they can seek treatment from any of the nearby treatment centers. The closest is in Danbury and is where most of Edmund’s patients end up. The substance abuse treatment providers offer every kind of help to people who call and ask for it. Most notably, the Connecticut Counseling Center in Danbury offers an all-in-one solution to the victims.
The Price Of Narcan
At Bissell’s pharmacy, one syringe of Narcan goes for $40. It is recommended to get two depending on the victim’s condition. Anyone who finds an overdosed person is advised to administer the antidote and the call 911 immediately. The antidote is also available from the town’s emergency responders. First Selectman Rudy Marconi confirms that both the fire department as well as the police department always carry Narcan with them.
Marconi is one of the members of a task force that was set up to find solutions to opioid drug abuse. This has been a growing problem especially with prescription painkillers that are easily available. According to him, even with more funding and increased awareness, the issue of drug abuse continues to affect more people. The number of addicts has been growing over the past years. For instance, the total deaths due to drugs reached an all-time level of 600.
Edmund says that Bissell's Pharmacy decided to start selling Narcan at the recommendation of the state which wanted to do everything to save lives. He hopes that this will help to reduce the number of deaths related to overdoses.