Overdose reversal drug now much easier to get in NC

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – A life-saving drug that can reverse an overdose is now much easier to get in North Carolina.

On Monday, Gov. Pat McCrory signed Senate Bill 734 into law making naloxone available without a prescription.

North Carolina is the third state in the country to issue a standing prescription order statewide for naloxone.

The drug has been credited with saving more than 3,000 lives in North Carolina.

It temporarily blocks the effects of opioids in the brain long enough to restore breathing in a person experiencing respiratory failure from an opioid overdose.

“Addressing mental health, substance use, underage drinking and drug overdose have been primary focuses of our team since day one,” said McCrory, who prioritized these issues in his first State of the State address. “Signing this legislation builds on our success and will save lives throughout North Carolina. I want to thank our legislators for unanimously passing this bipartisan initiative.”

DHHS Secretary Rick Brajer, who co-chaired the Governor’s Task Force, said the state listened and are aware of how many families will benefit from wide availability of naloxone.

“This law is the catalyst we need to help protect people across our state,” Brajer said.

The North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition has been working to raise awareness about naloxone and make it available statewide.

“Since the passage of the 911 Good Samaritan Law in 2013, the NC Harm Reduction Coalition has distributed over 28,000 free naloxone kits to community members, resulting in 3316 reported overdose reversals. The Coalition applauds the signing of SB734 as a crucial step to making naloxone more available to people who can use it to save the life of a loved one,” said NCHRC Advocacy and Communications Coordinator Tessie Castillo

The new law comes as heroin and prescription drug abuse is skyrocketing in North Carolina. More than 1,000 people die each year from prescription opioid and heroin overdoses.

“Naloxone can take someone who is stone cold, who is turning blue, not moving, not breathing…you give them naloxone and they can stand up and talk to you in a matter of seconds,” said Castillo. “It’s an amazing drug.”

CBS North Carolina Investigates shed light on the issue earlier in 2016.

More than 70 law enforcement agencies now carry naloxone.

For a list of reversals by department, click here.

North Carolina Law Enforcement Carrying Naloxone:

1. Alcohol Law Enforcement (Statewide, started Oct. 2014, Use nasal naloxone)
2. Appalachian State University Police (Started July 2015)
3. Ashe County Sheriff, Started May 2016, carry nasal narcan
4. Ayden Police (Informed they are carrying naloxone, but have not confirmed with NCHRC)
5. Bethel Police (Start date prior to 2016)
6. Bladenboro Police (Started March 2016)
7. Boiling Springs Lake Police (Started feb 2016, first reversal March 2016, two reversals in May 2016 use nasal narcan)
8. Brevard Police (Started 2015)
9. Brunswick County Sheriff (Started Dec. 2015, eight total successful rescues)
10. Burlington Police (Started June 2016)
11. Butner Department of Public Safety (Started April 2016, first rescue that same month)
12. Canton Police (Started July 2015)
13. Carolina Beach Police (Started March 2016, two rescues since)
14. Carrboro Police (first OD reversal in Jan. 2015)
15. Carteret County Sheriff (Started prior to Dec 2015, carrying naloxone in their patrol cars)
16. Caswell Beach Police (Started March 2016)
17. Clayton Police (Started May 2016)
18. Clyde Police (Started July 2015)
19. Columbus Police (Started June 2016)
20. Cramerton Police (One rescue, started in 2015)
21. Currituck County Sheriff (Four Rescues)
22. Dare County Sheriff (Started Dec. 2015, two reversals that same month)
23. Durham Jail Medical Staff (Started 2016)
24. East Carolina University Police (Start date prior to 2016, first rescue with nasal naloxone Spring 2016)
25. Edgecomb County Sheriff’s Office, (Started March 2016)
26. Fayetteville Police (21 total rescues)
27. Fletcher Police (Started in 2015, reported start of program to community advocate)
28. Fort Fisher Police (Started March 2016)
29. Gaston Co (8 police and fire departments)
30. Graham County Sheriff’s Detention Center (Started Nov 2015)
31. Granite Falls Police (Started May 2016)
32. Greenville Police (Four reversals, all in 24-hour period in March 2015, Two rescues in Spring 2016)
33. Guilford County Sheriff (Five reversals reported)
34. Halifax County Sheriff’s Office (Started in 2015)
35. Haywood County Sheriff’s Office (Started July 2015)
36. Henderson County Sheriff (One reversal in June 2015)
37. Hickory Police (Started May 2016)
38. Highlands Police (Started Dec. 2015)
39. High Point Police (Started Dec. 2015)
40. Hoke County Sheriff (Started March 2015)
41. Holly Ridge Police (Carry nasal narcan, started June 2016)
42. Hot Springs Police (Started 2015)
43. Hyde County Sheriff Office
44. Jacksonville Police (Unknown Start Date, most likely 2015)
45. Kill Devil Hill Police (Started May 2016, First rescue May 2016 using nasal narcan)
46. Kings Mountain Police (Started May 2015)
47. Kinston Police (Started July 2015)
48. Kitty Hawk Police (Started March 2016)
49. Kure Beach Police (Started March 2016)
50. Leland Police (Started March 2016)
51. Lenoir Police (Started Feb. 2016)
52. Lenoir County Sheriff (Started July 2015)
53. Madison County Sheriff (Started in 2015)
54. Maggie Valley Police (Started July 2015, carry nasal narcan)
55. Marion Police (Started Feb. 2016)
56. Mars Hill Police (Started Feb. 2016)
57. Marshall Police (Started 2015)
58. Mateo Police (Started March 2016, use aphastar naloxone)
59. McDowell County Sheriff (Started Feb. 2016)
60. Mooresville Police (Started March 2016, first rescue May 2016)
61. Mount Airy Police (Started April 2016)
62. Mount Holly Police (Started Sept. 2015)
63. Nags Head Police (Started Dec. 2015, first rescue Feb. 2016)
64. Nash County Sheriff (Started in 2016)
65. Nashville Police (Started June 2016, carry nasal naloxone, over 1,000 reversals in 2016)
66. Navassa Police (Started March 2016, carry nasal narcan)
67. New Hanover Sheriff Department (Started Dec. 2015)
68. Newton Police (Started May 2016)
69. Oak Island Police (Started March 2016, carry nasal narcan, first rescue May 2016)
70. Orange County Sheriff’s Office (Start date prior to 2016)
71. Pitt County Sheriff (One reversal in April 2015, Two rescues in Sept. 2015)
72. Roanoke Rapids Police (Start date prior to 2016)
73. Rockingham County Sheriff’s Office (Started early 2016, use nasal naloxone)
74. Rutherfordton Police (Started Summer 2015)
75. Southern Shores Police (Started March 2016)
76. Southport Police (Started March 2016)
77. State Bureau of Investigation (Started in 2014)
78. Stanley Police (Started Feb. 2016)
79. Stalling Police (Starting May 2016)
80. Statesville Police (Started Dec. 2015, four rescues)
81. Town of Duck Police (Started Dec. 2015)
82. Town of Pink Hill Police (Start date prior to 2016)
83. Transylvania County Sheriff (Start date prior to 2016)
84. Union County Sheriff (Started March2016, first rescue April 2016)
85. University of North Carolina-Wilmington Police (Started Dec. 2015)
86. Warren Wilson Campus Police (Started Sept. 2015)
87. Watauga Sheriff (Started July 2015, four rescues)
88. Waynesville Police (Started July 2015, One rescue, carry nasal narcan)
89. Wilmington Police (Started mid-March 2016)
90. Wilson Police (Started May 2016)
91. Winston Salem Police (Started summer of 2015)
92. Yancy County Sheriff (Started May 2016)

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