(CBS) -- Walgreens has announced it will now be offering the heroin antidote Naloxone over the counter without a prescription, a move law enforcement officials say will save lives.
The Illinois State Crime Commission has described heroin use as an epidemic and others have called it a medical emergency.
In recent months, more and more law enforcement agencies have been equipped with Narcan or Naloxone, to reverse the effects of heroin.
Lake County State's Attorney Mike Nerheim says it was time to take it a step further.
"Now if you have a parent, for example, that has a child that is struggling with addiction or an adult child living at home, they can have it on hand," Nerheim said. "Those minutes count and I think the more Naloxone out there, the more accessible it is, the more lives are going to be saved."
He says in Lake County (IL) alone, they have saved 55 lives with Naloxone.
Walgreens will be offering it pharmacies in 35 states, including Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin.
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