Overdose prevention drug now available at Pueblo pharmacies

PUEBLO, Colo. — There’s now a way for everyone in Pueblo to be prepared to save the life of someone who’s suffering from an opioid overdose.

Narcan is a drug that brings someone out of an overdose, potentially saving their life. Previously, it was only in the hands of first responders: paramedics, firefighters, and police. But now, everyone can go to a pharmacy and pick it up.

Instead of waiting for paramedics to arrive during an overdose, a family member or friend can take action and save a life.

For some in Pueblo, this means a lot, because of how close it hits to home.

“Got nephews and I’ve had my friends, their sons pass away and nephews that are just strung out completely where there’s no help for them,” said Ronnie Rodriguez.

For some, the heroin epidemic is extremely concerning.

“I think it’s very scary. It leads to the crime that we have and the increase in crime we have in Pueblo,” said Herb Brockman.

The problem of heroin stems from the abuse of prescription pain pills.

“People who use the pain pills have become addicted and if they can’t get the amount of pain pills that they need or they’ve been turned away by the pharmacy or their physician they then go to the streets and get it via heroin,” said Sarah Joseph of the Pueblo City County Health Department.

When someone is overdosing on an opioid, their muscles relax so much they stop breathing.

That’s where Narcan can save a life.

“It blocks the nerve receptors where the overdose drug is activating, so then it tells your body to activate again and your muscles then allow you to breathe. It buys you enough time to get more medical assistance,” said Joseph.

For Rodriguez, everyone having access to Narcan is a must.

“I would have it in my house just in case something happens. You never know. If you’re living that environment you better have it,” said Rodriguez.

“It’s just an answer to a big problem in helping people, but I think it’s a deeper rooted thing than just coming up with a solution to help people from dying. I think we need to address how people are getting heroin and how we can stop that,” said Brockman.

Anyone can go into a pharmacy and ask for a Narcan kit. It comes in two different forms: a nasal spray, and an injectable vial. The spray costs a little over $40 and the vial costs $25.

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