Virginia Krogers to offer naloxone without prescription

FILE - A kit with naloxone, also known by its brand name Narcan, is displayed at the South Jersey AIDS Alliance in Atlantic City, N.J. on Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014. (AP Photo/Mel Evans, file)

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – Kroger is making the opioid overdose antidote naloxone available without a prescription at its Virginia pharmacies.

The supermarket chain announced the decision Monday. It comes after the state health commissioner declared the opioid crisis a public health emergency in November.

The company says it has given its pharmacists extra training on substance abuse and made education materials for patients.

The Roanoke Times reports CVS and Walgreens pharmacies also offer naloxone without a prescription.

Naloxone, which is also known by the brand-name Narcan, can quickly revive someone who has stopped breathing after overdosing on opioids, which include prescription painkillers like Vicodin as well as illegal narcotics like heroin. In the past, naloxone was available mostly through clinics, hospitals or first responders, but many states and retailers have been easing access.

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