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Overdose-Reversal Drug Narcan Now Available Over The Counter At Duane Reade, Walgreens

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) -- Hundreds of Duane Reade and Walgreen Co. pharmacies will begin giving out a heroin antidote without a prescription across New York state.

The move brings the number of pharmacies where the drug is available over the counter to more than 1,000 statewide.

Naloxone, commonly known by the brand name Narcan, temporarily blocks the effects of heroin, OxyContin and other powerful painkillers.

It has been used by ambulance crews and emergency rooms for decades.

The drug will be housed behind the pharmacy counter and customers will still have to speak with a professional to obtain naloxone, WCBS 880's Stephanie Colombini reported.

People who receive naloxone as a treatment should go to a hospital before the drug's effects wear off.

Health Department officials say naloxone itself has no potential for being abused because it has no effect unless a person has opioids in his or her system.

"Opioid overdose is preventable, yet it continues to claim hundreds of lives in our city," New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement. "By making naloxone even more widely available we are literally saving lives and helping New Yorkers onto the path to recovery."

State health officials earlier announced that CVS pharmacies would also offer the drug.

Visit or call 311 to find a participating pharmacy and more information about overdose prevention.

(TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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