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Over half of state pharmacies participating in program to reduce drug overdoses

Ged Carroll

Half of Michigan’s pharmacies are participating in a program to curb opioid abuse, according to officials with the state health department.

Last year the state launched a program to stock naloxone, a drug that reduces the effects of overdose, in pharmacies and allows people to get the drug without a prescription.

Lyn Sutfin is with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. She said naloxone is a drug that treats overdose in an emergency situation.

“The point of the program is to save lives. To make it easier or more accessible for somebody suffering from addiction or if you have a family member is suffering from addiction you can go out and get an order of naloxone filled so you can be prepared in case of overdose.”

Sutfin said roughly 15-hundred pharmacies are registered for the program.

“That’s a little more than 50%, 54% of the pharmacies in the state because they have to be eligible because they have to have a controlled substance license.”

So far Sutfin said the state has filled roughly 57-hundred orders of naloxone in the last six months.

She said the state would like to see 100 percent of pharmacies participate in the program, but it’s still less than a year old.