TYLER, Texas (KETK) — With fentanyl overdoses rising in the United States, the Food and Drug Administration approved the over-the-counter sale of Narcan, an opioid overdose-reversing drug.

“Better safe to have it, than need it and not have it,” said Connor Gilbertson, Public Relations Coordinator for the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Council of Deep East Texas.

The FDA says drug overdoses are a major public issue and continue to affect Americans everywhere.

“100,00 deaths in the United States each year,” said David Davis, pharmacy manager at Drug Emporium.

What is Narcan?

Narcan, which is the brand name of Naloxone, rapidly helps treat anyone who is experiencing an opioid overdose caused by street drugs like fentanyl and heroin. Narcan can also reverse the overdose effects of prescription drugs like oxycodone. It is administered as a nasal spray.

By summer 2023, it is expected to be available over the counter without a doctor’s prescription.

“If we can cut back any one of those (overdoses) with this being available for people without prescription for people who need it and when they need it, it is well worth it,” Davis said.

Does over-the-counter Narcan make it more accessible?

This life-saving treatment can be accessible to anyone as a precaution. According to a report by the Associated Press, approval means that it can be sold in places without pharmacies, like supermarkets, online retailers and convenience stores. Experts say two doses of Narcan are often sold for around $50.

“You’ll take it and push up and inject it into their nose about a knuckle deep until your knuckle hits their nose and inject the first dose”, said Gilbertson

ADAC said fentanyl is already here in East Texas.

“The stigma needs to stop that this is a drug users issue. this is an everyone issue because it can affect anyone. One pill can kill,” said Gilbertson.

Across our counties and cities, school districts and law enforcement are being trained to use Narcan in any given situation.

“You never know, you never know when this problem will just pop up out of nowhere and you may or may not be prepared,” said Gilbertson

Having the spray in your possession could save a life.