Officials: Prescriptions on the rise for overdose antidote

pills, medicine, prescription

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) – New Mexico is seeing a significant increase in the number of prescriptions for an overdose antidote being dispensed from community pharmacies.

The state Health Department on Monday reported there were 285 Medicaid claims from nearly three dozen pharmacies for naloxone in the first quarter of 2016. That’s a fivefold increase over the same period last year.

State officials say one of New Mexico’s overdose prevention strategies calls for expanding access to naloxone. Legislation aimed at doing that was signed earlier this year.

Naloxone can revive someone who has stopped breathing after overdosing on so-called opioids – highly addictive drugs that include prescription painkillers like Vicodin as well as illegal narcotics like heroin.

In the past, naloxone has been available mostly through clinics, hospitals or first responders like paramedics.

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