New Mexico pharmacists certified to prescribe overdose drug Narcan
April 4, 2014 at 10:44 PM CDT - Updated July 20 at 10:15 PM
Pharmacists in New Mexico are the first in the US to be certified to prescribe a drug which prevents or reverses the effects of a heroin overdose.
NewsChannel 10 looked into how likely it is that Texas pharmacists will be able prescribe it in the future.
The first 60 pharmacists in New Mexico completed the training program for Narcan this week.
It is administered by attaching a nasal-tip inhaler to a small vial, and then sprayed into the nose.
The drug flows directly to the brain, blocking opiods and restoring breathing.
New mexico was chosen as the first state to allow pharmacists to prescribe narcan because of its many rural areas.
Dr. Jeanie Jaramillo with Texas Panhandle Poison Center says this could be a reason we see Narcan in our area.
"New Mexico has a lot of rural areas where there is not access to health care professionals or hospitals, so in that respect this will be a good thing to have the medication available in those areas where they can't get immediate help."
New mexico is considered one of the leading states when it comes to overdoses from heroin and prescription pain pills.
But, doctors say it is important that people are aware this is not a treatment for heroin or addiction.
"People need to know that is not a treatment, it is not a cure that they can just give at home and then go on with their life. They need to still seek health care assistance because it can wear off and then the person can stop breathing again. And at that point you have used your dosage and you don't have more to give"
But Jaramillo says a lot of controversy still surrounds Narcan.
"There is controversy about it actually promoting people to abuse medication. To abuse perception medication or abuse heroin, that they will feel like they are safe because they have this medication there and that is not always the case."
There were as many as 5-hundred overdose reversals in New Mexico because of Narcan in 2013.