The company that makes Narcan plans to make free doses available to every public library and YMCA across the country.
The goal is to decrease overdose deaths. The drug has been the biggest weapon in the war against overdoses over the last few years.
The company that makes Narcan told 13News Now it will provide one carton of the Nasal Spray which is two doses along with educational materials for free. Merchant Bio Solutions Vice President of Communications Thom Duddy said the library or YMCA who wants the free doses has filled out a form.
"The physician or prescriber or nurse practitioners or PA or physician would have to sign the form on behalf of the library that they are allowing naloxone to be in the library," said Duddy.
13News Now reached out to local municipalities, and many said they are looking into the new innovations. City Officials in Portsmouth, Suffolk, Norfolk, and Chesapeake said it’s too soon to tell whether or not their libraries will carry it.
Leaders said the rules about the drug going into libraries would have to align with the Board of Pharmacy rules. In Virginia Beach, city leaders have not made a final decision on the offer for free Narcan at its public libraries.
For several years, Police, Fire and EMS personnel have trained and administered Narcan. According to city leaders, Virginia Beach was the first in the state to offer Narcan.
"I believe that we can respond to the needs of the members of the public library or any other location in the city within a relatively short amount of time," explained Deputy Chief Patrick Gallagher.
Gallagher said if Narcan is provided at the public libraries, he has a few concerns. He said when people are given the overdose-reversing drug they can become mean or aggressive.
"It could result in physical assaults and that’s why we believe it’s important to have a police officer, EMT or firefighter present," he said.
Officials said it could be a few months before a final decision is made.
On Thursday, the YMCA of South Hampton Roads released a statement saying in part, quote "We are evaluating this announcement and will assess the opportunity this provides for our members, staff, and community."
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