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Where Texans Can Get Naloxone

State

In this image taken from police body camera video and provided by the San Diego County Sheriff's Department, San Diego County Sheriff's Deputy David Faiivae gets aid from an officer, after being exposed to fentanyl on July 3, 2021, in San Diego. A public safety video that told viewers the deputy had a near-death experience after being exposed to fentanyl used the actual footage, the San Diego Sheriff's department said, after critics questioned the deputy's severe reaction. The video shows "an actual incident involving the deputy as he processed a white powdery substance that tested positive for Fentanyl," a department news release said. | Image by San Diego County Sheriff's Department via AP

(The Center Square) – Naloxone, the emergency treatment that’s proven to reverse opioid overdoses and fentanyl poisoning if administered quickly enough, is available in Texas for “free” or low cost.

With fake prescription drug pills laced with fentanyl and fentanyl powder pouring through the southern border, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency has issued a new public safety alert, saying, “Fentanyl remains the deadliest drug threat facing this country.”

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and several attorneys general have issued warnings, including a statewide “one pill can kill” campaign.

Abbott and other lawmakers have blamed President Joe Biden’s open border policies for the influx of fentanyl in Texas. Since last March, law enforcement officers through Texas’ border security mission, Operation Lone Star, have seized more than 352 million lethal doses of fentanyl alone, enough to kill everyone in the U.S.

But after reporting on a toddler nearly dying from fentanyl poisoning, The Center Square received numerous requests from readers about where and how to obtain Naloxone.

Texas law authorizes all adults to purchase Naloxone or its generic form at most licensed pharmacies without a prescription and without insurance.

Insurance copays will cover the purchase with and without a prescription, numerous pharmacists told The Center Square. Prices vary, according to the pharmacy.

The drug’s cash price also varies. In the Houston area, for example, cash prices range from $76.22 for the generic at Walmart’s pharmacy, to $89.99 at CVS’s and Target’s pharmacies, to $98 at Walgreens and $142 at Kroger and Randalls grocery store pharmacies.

Prices also vary according to the region of the state. Prescription drug discounts can be applied if the drug is purchased using a prescription. Some coupons can be applied to reduce the cash price.

GoodRx Health provides information about where and how to obtain Naloxone for free or at a reduced cost at pharmacies by zip code. It also has a mobile app to help consumers locate the best prices and comparison shops.

Having Naloxone on hand is “a good precaution,” the discount prescription drug website says, similar to having a fire extinguisher. You hope you won’t have to use it but if you do, having one on hand could save your life or someone else’s, it says.

Good RX Care also provides a prescription service online for individuals between the ages of 18 and 65 who live where Naloxone isn’t available through community-based distribution programs, which primarily assist drug users. The National Harm Reduction Coalition has published a map identifying where the programs are located nationwide.

Numerous organizations provide a range of resources and assistance in Texas. In the major metropolitan areas, Fort Worth-based Greenhouse Treatment Center, Austin-based Texas Harm Reduction Alliance, the Houston Recovery Center, and a UT Health San Antonio program all provide resources.

Texans can also order the brand NARCAN Nasal Spray at MoreNarcanPlease.com, which administers a state-funded supply.

Texans can also access free resources and the drug at nextdistro.org/naloxone, an online mail-based harm reduction service, and at Naloxoneexchange.com.

Naloxone has been proven to successfully reverse the effects of opioids and prevent someone who’s overdosed from dying by restoring their breathing, the National Institutes of Health reports.

Signs of an overdose according to NIH include unconsciousness, small pupils, slow or shallow breathing, vomiting, inability to speak, faint heartbeat, limp arms and legs, pale skin, purple lips and fingernails.

On Tuesday, Emergent BioSolutions announced the FDA was fast-tracking its review of an application it submitted to approve NARCAN Nasal Spray to be sold as an over-the-counter emergency treatment. If approved, it could hit the shelves in March of next year, the company said.

In the meantime, Texas law enforcement officers are doing everything they can to get fentanyl and other dangerous drugs off the streets, Abbott’s office says.

At a recent meeting with sheriffs addressing border-related crimes, Abbott said “cartels are bringing fentanyl across the border in record amounts.” He again called on the president to “take it serious[ly] and step up to secure the border, if nothing else to stop the fentanyl.”

He also said the Texas Legislature will consider several proposals to beef up enforcement efforts and expand resources next year. One proposal will identify a “fentanyl overdose for what it is … a poisoning.” Another will “classify fentanyl for the crime that it is … murder. Anyone who laces a pill with fentanyl and knowingly sells it to someone else who loses their life should be arrested, tried and convicted for murder,” Abbott said.

Other initiatives include making Naloxone more accessible statewide and expanding substance abuse and mental health resources.

Abbott also said his executive order declaring Mexican cartels as foreign terrorist organizations has enabled law enforcement to “identify and seize cartel assets” and those of gang members, “to put them out of business. We want them to understand if they are doing business in Texas, they picked the wrong state. We will track down their boats, their money, their cars, whatever assets they have and put them out of business.”

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