Michiganders urged to carry Narcan as over-the-counter sales approved by FDA

“I feel that if it wasn’t around I would not be here. "
For over-the-counter sales, it means that Narcan will be more accessible to save lives.
Published: Mar. 29, 2023 at 7:01 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - The FDA approved over-the-counter sales for Narcan Wednesday. The nasal spray is used to treat opioid overdoses.

With proof that Narcan is saving lives, Katrina Bowen, who has struggled with substance abuse for years, said Narcan has saved her life on multiple occasions. However, some are not as fortunate. According to the state of Michigan, just over 1,900 people died from an overdose last year.

For over-the-counter sales, it means that Narcan will be more accessible to save lives. Bowen, who is now five years clean, said everyone should carry Narcan.

“I feel that if it wasn’t around, I would not be here. They had to use Narcan, the last time on me twice,” Bowen said. “I overdosed not just on the heroin but the fentanyl part as well.”

According to the FDA, over-the-counter Narcan can now be sold in big-box chains, vending machines, supermarkets, and gas stations as soon as this summer. Mike Hurst, who lost his son to a heroin overdose, is now helping others get clean through his program, Andy’s Place.

“I lost my battle with my son, but if there is something I can do to make sure someone else doesn’t have to go through that process that our family went through, I am all for that,” Hurst said.

He said to look for the signs of a drug overdose, such as slow breathing, slow heart rate, and a shutdown of the system.

“This is an opioid blocker,” Hurst said. “So as soon as you inject, it reverses that process so that you come right back to life again.”

Narcan is easy to administer. Unwrap the palm-sized device, insert the tip into the person’s nose, and depress the plunger. In most cases, this medication could work within three minutes.

Bowen wants to make sure it is accessible as possible to save a life.

“I have it everywhere. It’s in our car, it’s in our apartment, it’s up at the security desk,” Bowen said. “It is truly a lifesaver.”

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