Save a life. Get Naloxone without a prescription, and be prepared to save a life this holiday party season.
NYC pharmacies now offer the life-saving drug without a prescription, to reverse the effects of a heroin or other opioid overdose. Naloxone also is available FREE at community-based drug overdose prevention programs in New York City and New York State..
The opioid crisis continues to be front page news. The White House has declared it a national emergency.
More than 1,000 people died from drug overdoses in New York City in 2016, the first recorded four-digit death total in city history, according to statistics compiled by the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. The 1,374 recorded overdose deaths in 2016 was nearly a 50% increase over the previous year.
Nearly half of all unintentional drug overdose deaths in the city in the second half of 2016 involved fentanyl, which is as much as 10x more powerful than heroin.
That’s s even more than died in the terrible days of the heroin and crack cocaine crisis of the 1970s and 1980s, which made NYC such a dark and dangerous place to be living. At the time, NYC was home to nearly half of the half-million heroin addicts in the entire United States – according to this 1986 New York Times article.
Sixth consecutive year overdose deaths have increased in NYC
Every seven hours, someone dies of an overdose
Public health officials have called the current opioid epidemic the worst drug crisis in American history, killing more than 33,000 people in 2015.
Overdose deaths were nearly equal to the number of deaths from car crashes, and for the first time, deaths from heroin alone surpassed gun homicides.
Where to get life-saving Naloxone in NYC without a prescription
Duane Reade and Walgreen’s locations sell the overdose-reversing drug Naloxone without a prescription.
Walgreen’s locations beyond NYC, in the rest of NY State, also carry the anti-overdose drug without a prescription.
Naloxone also is available at Rite Aid and CVS pharmacies, and at many independently owned pharmacies, in injectable form, and also as a nose spray.
Visit the Naloxone page at nyc.gov/health for additional information, including to find a participating pharmacy. Or call 311, the NYC information hotline.
With or without a prescription, Naloxoene is a lifesaver. Nationally, fatal heroin doses increased 45 percent from 2006 to 2010.
With or without a prescription, administering the drug requires some training, but that is available FREE through a New York State program announced by Governor Cuomo in 2014.
Training is available at 12 Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) Addiction Treatment Centers (ATCs) in communities across New York State, for both first responders and the general public.
Participants learn how to recognize an overdose, what to do during an overdose, how to provide rescue breathing during an overdose and how to administer Naloxone. Upon completion of the training, participants will be certified to administer Naloxone and will receive a free Naloxone rescue kit.
The drug has been carried by NYPD and, EMS First Responders since 2014, and it’s on hand at hospital emergency centers.
An injectable dose costs around $3, but many police departments, including the NYPD, use the nasal spray form, which requires a higher concentration but less medical training. This form of Naloxone comes in a kit that used to cost around $20, and now costs in excess of $40.
By the way – Naloxone was invented in the US by an immigrant, Jack Fishman, a Holocaust survivor, after his own stepson died of a heroin overdose. He came to the US at the age of 18, and got degrees at Yeshiva University and Columbia University. Here is his obituary in the New York Times, on his death in 2013.
photo of drug package and insert courtesy Getty Images via Gothamist
This article was posted originally in 2016 and is updated periodically.