Spokane libraries could soon carry opioid overdose-reversing drug

Spokane libraries could soon carry opioid overdose-reversing drug

As state lawmakers and first responders try to figure out how to fight the opioid epidemic, the makers of Narcan, a life-saving drug that reverses overdoses, are stepping up to help.

The creators of Narcan, Emergent Biosolutions, announced the drug will be made available to libraries and YMCA’s across the state and offer training to those employees for free, so if someone does suffer an overdose, they’ll know how to respond.

Thom Duddy with Emergency Biosolutions, told KXLY new legislation for opioid prescribers defines new criteria for those who are at risk for an opioid overdose. The three criteria for those at risk of an overdose include: those on a high dose of opioids, those combining opioids with sleep medication, or those who have been diagnosed with substance use disorder in the past.

“In Washington state, we looked at some data and for those three criteria, there are around 561,000 patients that meet one of those criteria that are at risk for an opioid overdose that will now need some education and now potentially need a Naloxone [Narcan] prescription,” Duddy said.

Narcan hasn’t been made available to libraries and the YMCA in Spokane just yet. The creators are in talks with each location and says it’s up to each individual library and YMCA if they’d like to carry the drug.

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