Another state has joined the movement to make Naloxone, also known as Narcan, more easily available to those who may need it. Pennsylvania governor Tom Wolf and Physician General Dr. Rachel Levine signed and announced the governor’s standing order on Naloxone yesterday. Dr. Levine’s signature acts as a prescription for any Pennsylvanian to buy the drug “over-the-counter” at pharmacies across the state.

“We’re here because we recognize Pennsylvania has a problem. We must do all that we can to support those Pennsylvania families suffering from the effects of addiction,” said Governor Wolf.

Statistics show one in four Pennsylvania families have been impacted by substance abuse, and seven people in the commonwealth die as a result of addiction every day, making it the leading cause of accidental death in Pennsylvania.

“This is one piece of the puzzle,” Dr. Levine said. “If it saves a life, that is tremendous, but then people need to be brought to get emergency treatment.”

Having the ability for someone to have Naloxone in their home or on their person in case of emergency could mean the difference between life and death.

“What happens when you overdose on opioids is you stop breathing. You have four to six minutes before permanent damage occurs,” said Dr. Bledsoe of Pinnacle Health’s Life Alert team.

“The ability for a mother to have something in her house where she can rescue her child, when seconds count, is very important.”

Major pharmacies across Pennsylvania have been made aware of the standing order on Naloxone and can begin selling it right away. Participation is voluntary.

However, just because you can reverse a heroin overdose at home, doesn’t mean you should avoid checking into a hospital. Both Dr. Bledsoe and Physician General Levine are adamant in making sure 9-1-1 is called immediately.

“You need to get us on the road in case it’s not enough medicine to reverse the overdose,” Bledsoe said.