Over-the-counter Narcan now available, first dose to sell nationwide was in our own backyard

Published: Sep. 4, 2023 at 3:02 PM EDT
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - Introducing over-the-counter Narcan.

”You never know who’s going to be using and who’s going to need it. It could be grandma, it could be a young child who finds something on the floor,” said Kelly Wright, Director of the Anchor Recovery Center.

Narcan is a nasal spray used to reverse the effects of an overdose in minutes. Advocates say more accessibility may mean more awareness.

“I think it is going to make it more accessible to individuals that maybe are afraid of the stigma of coming here to pick up the Narcan,” said Wright.

Kinney Drugs launched over-the-counter Narcan last week on International Overdose Awareness Day. No prescription is needed to get Narcan.

According to the manufacturer, the first ever over-the-counter Narcan sold in the country was in our own community at Kinney Drugs in Clayton.

“To be first to market is one thing, first to launch in communities, but to actually have the first transaction in the entire country was pretty cool,” said John Marraffa Kinney Drugs’ President.

Getting over-the-counter Narcan is just as easy as going to your local Kinney Drugs and buying some Tylenol. In fact, it’s on the same shelf. And once you pick up a box, step-by-step instructions are on the back on how to administer the Narcan.

“We really want people to know this is just like an EpiPen. We want them to have this in case of. We hope that it’s not used, but in the event you walk in a situation, you are equipped to react,” said Marraffa.

Kathy Plante-Hunt’s daughter Tammy Plante died of a fentanyl overdose in 2021. If you recognize her name or photo, it’s because she’s on display on a billboard in Watertown.

Plante-Hunt tells 7 News Narcan being dispensed for public use is a good start, but there needs to be more rehabilitation facilities against drug addiction and drug overdoses.

Wright says her concern is the cost.

“The individuals who maybe come from lower income families are not going to be able to afford that price tag,” said Wright.

The Anchor Recovery Center in Watertown will continue to provide free Narcan and free Narcan training.