Overdose-reversal drug to be available at CVS Pharmacy stores

Overdose-reversal drug to be available at CVS Pharmacy stores

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - To prevent and treat substance use disorders in Virginia, there will be greater access to the overdose-reversal medication, naloxone.

On Wednesday afternoon, Governor McAuliffe will stand alongside the Health and Human Resources Secretary and Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security to address the access to the drug in local pharmacies.

CVS Health will now carry the overdose-reversing medication in its pharmacies across Virginia.

"Governor McAuliffe, Secretary Hazel and Secretary Moran will also discuss efforts to prevent and treat substance use disorders in Virginia. CVS Health will also highlight the company's efforts to address and prevent prescription drug abuse in Virginia and across the country by encouraging safe medication disposal and youth drug abuse prevention," stated a press release.

"Prescription opioid and heroin overdoses are killing our citizens, and we need to use every tool we can to fight that epidemic," said Secretary of Health and Human Resources William Hazel. "We are working to reduce the amount of available opioids, whether they are the kind that gets prescribed or the kind that gets bought on the street corner."

Now that naloxone will become more easily accessible across the Commonwealth, some question if it will encourage drug abusers. One doctor doesn't believe it will.

"When it first came out, I was worried some drug addicts may push the drug dosage even higher because they know the safety net is there," remarked Dr. Peter Coleman of the Coleman Institute.

Coleman works on the front lines, treating and helping those in recovery.

"Drug-reversal saves lives and there's no evidence it induces someone to use a higher dose," Dr. Coleman said.

In addition to Virginia, CVS Pharmacy locations in 22 states can dispense naloxone to patients without an individual prescription

Copyright 2016 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved