Opioid overdose reversal drug Narcan available over-the-counter in Mich.

Posted at 10:40 AM, May 26, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-26 18:18:40-04

In the state of Michigan's latest fight to combat the opioid epidemic, Gov. Rick Snyder signed a bill making Naloxone, also known as Narcan, available over-the-counter at Michigan pharmacies.

The medication is fast acting and helps reverse an opioid overdose. It is already carried by many metro Detroit and Michigan law enforcement agencies.

"Our entire state has been affected by this horrible epidemic," Snyder said in a release. "I have said that state government will use all possible resources to reverse the course of the opioid crisis."

In March, the state unveiled new steps to address the epidemic in Michigan, with new legislation requiring steps for providers with prescription opioids and the new Michigan Automatic Prescription System.

When getting Narcan from a pharmacy, people will be provided with the steps on how to respond to an opioid overdose, as well as information about where they can go for treatment services.

On top of that, pharmacies will also be required to keep track of the amount of Narcan given out.

The state said pharmacies that carry Narcan can give them out to people at risk of an opioid overdose, as well as family members, friends or anyone who can help a person at risk of an overdose.

The amount of heroin-related overdose deaths in Michigan has grown nearly six times over the last decade, from 1.1 per 100,000 residents in 2007 to 6.8 per 100,000 residents in 2015. The total number of deaths went up from 473 in 2007 to 1,275 in 2015.