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Missouri health officials urge people to carry Narcan to save lives

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If you or a loved one uses any sort of opioid medication, either legally or illegally, the state of Missouri is recommending you start carrying a drug state health officials said could save a life.

It's part of the 'NoMoDeaths' campaign, health officials here in Missouri said if you have Narcan on you when someone who knows overdoses on opioid type drugs, you can be the one to save their life, but you have to be ready.

"If you're taking opioid medications or you have someone you know or love that's taking opioid medications both legally and illegally it's a good thing to have around," said Grand Pharmacy Pharmacist Greg Gilmore.

She said while they don't have this nasal spray Narcan on-hand in their store, the state does require it to be available to those who might need it

"We don't have a lot of people request it, I'm not sure a lot of people realize you can get it," said Hilmore, "it is a prescription product, but it is available without a prescription."

At Turning Point Recovery Centers in Hannibal, Executive Director Jennifer Wilson said it's something they give their clients who they are helping with opiate addiction.

"We have some specific education that we can give to them about how to administer the education, we can also speak with their family members so they understand," said Wilson.

She said when someone loses consciousness while overdosing on opiates, Narcan, also known as Naloxone, stops the opiate receptors in the brain fast, bringing them out of the high.

"You could just provide the Narcan, it's not going to have a negative effect if for some reason there is another medical issue," said Wilson, stating that you can give it to someone even if you're not sure if it's opiates.

Wilson said while there are many ways to get the drug for free, at Grand Pharmacy, Gilmore said they can get it in around a day if someone requests it.

"They might be able to tell firsthand if they're experiencing those problems, they can call 911, they can use the naloxone, it definitely saves lives."

Officials at turning point recovery centers said if you choose to keep Narcan with you to help protect someone you know, make sure you open up the box, read the instructions inside, and familiarize yourself with the delivery system before you have to use it in an emergency.

Health officials said while first responders often carry the drug, you could be the fastest way to deliver a dose.

If you want to get help with opiate addiction, or are interested in getting Narcan to help protect someone you know, you can reach out to the Missouri hope project at mohopeproject.org.

You can also call the National Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse in the St Louis area at 314-362-3456.

Or the Missouri network for opiate reform and recovery at 844-732-3587.

Frank Healy

Multimedia Journalist at WGEM

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