Last month, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved over-the-counter sales of Narcan, a brand of nasal spray naloxone, which is an opioid antagonist that has successfully reversed more than 2,000 overdoses in Connecticut since 2016.
But despite the FDA approval, some people in Connecticut may still have a difficult time obtaining Narcan over-the-counter.
Currently, 28 towns in the state, mostly rural, don’t have a store that is eligible to sell over-the-counter medication, according to permit data from the Department of Consumer Protection.
In these towns, since 2018, there have been at least 104 opioid overdose deaths.
And while a store with Narcan could be just a town away for those with access to transportation, it’s not as simple for individuals with opioid use disorder that are also experiencing homelessness or those that don’t have access to a car.
Until then, one of the most direct ways to access naloxone is through a pharmacy, since they're conveniently located in many neighborhoods, providing quick and direct access to residents.
Yet, there are 45 towns where a pharmacy with a certified pharmacist is not available to prescribe and dispense naloxone or solely dispense it through a standing order.
And in these towns, since 2018, there have been at least 149 opioid overdose deaths.