SANTA FE, N.M. — Pharmacists in New Mexico have become the first in the United States certified to prescribe Narcan (naloxone), which prevents or reverses the effects of opioids including respiratory depression, sedation and hypotension, according to a report published Wednesday by The New Mexican.
The first 60 pharmacists have completed the training program, learning how to administer a nasal spray to a patient suffering from a drug overdose.
Because New Mexico contains many rural areas, the local pharmacy may be the closest healthcare practitioner in many areas, the paper noted.
There were as many as 500 statewide overdose reversals due to Narcan in 2013, the paper reported. “Narcan is one of the keys to preventing prescription drug overdoses,” Michael Landen, state epidemiologist with the New Mexico Department of Health, told the New Mexican. “Allowing people who need access to Narcan and having it available at most pharmacies is very important.”