ABC 33/40 has learned that naloxone will soon be available over the counter in Alabama at Walgreens pharmacies.
Tinamarie Smith's son struggled with heroin addiction, and is now in recovery. She's in favor of Walgreens carrying naloxone. "Over those past two years, it was the darkest days," Smith said. "I think it would just be one other step that a family member or friend could do to intervene until help did arrive." Smith questions if it is a good idea to make the "heroin antidote" so readily available. "Like anything, people are going to find the bad in it. They're going to use it as a crutch. But hopefully for that one life, maybe it was someone who it was their first time (using), or for someone who really does want to change," she says.
Shandor Cheka with the Addiction Prevention Coalition doesn't believe it's enabling. "Most of the families know what's going on with their child," he said. "They're trying to get them to stop. Maybe it's a spouse, they're trying to get them to stop using. But there are relapses involved, even with people who find recovery." Training will be offered at Walgreens, by pharmacists. Instructions are provided in the packaging. In addition, Walgreens will install medication disposal kiosks to address the problem of prescription drug abuse.
ABC 33/40 also learned nalaxone is covered by most insurance. If not, a single dose will cost $78. Walgreens has not said yet when this program will roll out in Alabama.