Columbus -- A thousand pharmacies across the state are now offering an overdose-reversing drug, a little more than a year after a new state law took effect allowing access to supplies without a prescription.
State health officials announced the milestone Aug. 29, noting the ready availability to naloxone in 79 Ohio counties.
The list includes nearly four dozen in Summit County and 10 in Portage County, according to information compiled by the state pharmacy board. Those pharmacies include:
/ CVS, 118 W. Garfield Road in Aurora;
/ Walgreens, 95 W. Garfield Road in Aurora;
/ CVS, 1171 State Road in Cuyahoga Falls;
/ CVS, 641 Graham Road in Cuyahoga Falls;
/ Discount Drug Mart, 655 W. Portage Trail in Cuyahoga Falls;
/ New Choice Pharmacy, 1900 23rd St. in Cuyahoga Falls;
/ Walgreens, 2645 State Road in Cuyahoga Falls;
/ Walgreens, 755 Howe Ave. in Cuyahoga Falls;
/ CVS, 5783 Darrow Road in Hudson;
/ Discount Drug Mart, 5863 Darrow Road in Hudson;
/ Walgreens, 663 E. Aurora Road, Suite 1 in Macedonia;
/ CVS, 9302 Olde Eight Road in Northfield Center;
/ CVS, 10380 Northfield Road in Northfield Village;
/ Acme Pharmacy, 4302 Allen Road in Stow;
/ CVS, 3352 Kent Road in Stow;
/ Discount Drug Mart, 4044 Fishcreek Road in Stow;
/ Walgreens, 2086 Graham Road in Stow;
/ CVS, 9940 Route 43 in Streetsboro;
/ Walgreens, 9166 Route 43 in Streetsboro;
/ CVS, 8059 Darrow Road in Twinsburg;
/ CVS, 10085 Darrow Road in Twinsburg;
/ Walgreens, 9043 Darrow Road in Twinsburg;
/ Discount Drug Mart, 3100 Glenwood Blvd., Suite 294 in Twinsburg;
Naloxone, sold under the brand name Narcan, blocks the effects of heroin and other opioids. As of mid-July 2015, naloxone can be purchased from participating pharmacies by those addicted to drugs or their family members or friends without written prescriptions.
Many law enforcement agencies and emergency responders also have stocked up on naloxone and are using the drug regularly to treat overdoses.
"Increasing the availability of naloxone is essential in preventing fatal drug overdoses impacting our state," Steven W. Schierholt, director of the state pharmacy board, said in a released statement.
Attorney General Mike DeWine has said that the number of unintentional drug overdoses in the state would be even higher without naloxone. According to the Ohio Department of Health, nearly 20,000 doses of naloxone were administered last year, up from about 7,200 two years earlier.
Last week, state health officials announced that a record 3,050 Ohioans had died from overdoses last year , up from 2,531 in 2014.
Fentanyl, a powerful synthetic narcotic that users are mixing with heroin, was a big driver of the increase, accounting for 1,155 unintentional overdose deaths.
Heroin was the second-biggest driver of Ohio's results, accounting for 1,424 deaths.
Marc Kovac is the Dix Capital Bureau Chief. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at OhioCapitalBlog.