Drug overdose deaths have been declared a public health emergency in Utah by Governor Gary Herbert and nationally opioid overdoses have reached epidemic levels.
In response, Intermountain Healthcare is making available a medication that reverses the effects of opioids and prevents death from overdose.
Opioids are defined as prescription pain medications and the drug heroin.
Naloxone (nuh-locks-own) is available at any Intermountain Healthcare Pharmacy without a prescription.
“This medication has been around for a long time,” said Jeff Benson, Logan Regional Hospital Pharmacist. “Emergency response people have used it for decades. In the last couple of years our legislature made it possible for us as pharmacists to prescribe and dispense it.”
Naloxone is covered by many insurance plans but it is not inexpensive.
“It comes in a variety of formulations,” said Benson, “with the least expensive still probably $90. The most expensive, a commercially available automatic-injector, is close to $300.”
Benson said the ultimate goal for those helped by Naloxone is to get them into treatment and recovery programs.
“Our hope is that we can empower individuals to save lives,” said Buck Stanford, Community Operations director for Intermountain Healthcare Pharmacy Services.