LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Michigan doctors are praising the FDA’s decision to approve over-the-counter access to Narcan, a drug that rapidly reverses opioid overdoses, saying it will help save lives.

Narcan is a widely known brand name drug that contains naloxone, which can block and reverse the effects of opioids, such as heroin, fentanyl, and prescription pills like OxyContin.

It is administered through a nasal spray in order to prevent an opioid overdose from becoming fatal.

The Michigan Society of Anesthesiologists released a statement Thursday as part of National Opioid Awareness Day, Sept. 21, calling the move by the FDA to make naloxone more widely available is a “significant step to better fight opioid overdoses.”

Opioid overdoses kill thousands of people in Michigan every year. More than 13,000 have died from an opioid overdose since 2018, according to data from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

“Having naloxone available over-the-counter is revolutionary,” said Dr. Adnan Hussain, the associate program director of anesthesiology residency at Henry Ford Health. “It will save a lot of lives, both for people who have been prescribed opioids and then got addicted or for those who take opioids without a prescription.” 

Doctors like Hussain say people living with opioids in their home and public places, such as schools and concert halls, should have naloxone in their first aid kits.

Narcan is now available at many pharmacies across Michigan. For instructions on how to use it properly, you can visit this page.