Dr. Dave Miller, R. Ph., Ph. D., FIACP, FACA - September 30, 2022

If you've picked up a newspaper or tuned into your local news station, you've no doubt seen articles related to the developing opioid epidemic in our nation. Libraries, universities and even workplaces are having to grapple with opioid abuse, ready to call an ambulance at a moment's notice.

Opioid use and prescriptions have greatly increased within the last decade, and with that, opioid overdoses. In Michigan, there has been a 41 percent increase in opioid prescriptions between 2009 and 2015. In fact, the number of prescriptions written for opioids in 2016 surpassed the number of people in the state. Opioids and heroin account for 67 percent of all overdoses in the state and has cost healthcare providers more than $830 million.

Despite these startling numbers, there is a safe and effective drug that counters the effects of an opioid overdose: naloxone. Naloxone has saved many lives by blocking the effects of the opioid at the receptor level in the brain, reversing a fatal overdose.

Recently, the state of Michigan has given Keystone Pharmacy the ability to distribute naloxone to any patient prescribed an opioid as well as distribute to school boards, caregivers and others who may have a need. That means anyone who has a concern that they, or someone near them, may become victim of an overdoes can walk in and purchase a kit - no questions asked nor prescription needed.

Keystone Pharmacy wants to be part of the solution to the rampant opioid epidemic in West Michigan. By providing tools and education around naloxone, our hope is that fewer individuals will suffer from sometimes fatal opioid overdoses.

If you or someone you know may be at risk of an opioid overdose, please come to Keystone Pharmacy to learn about naloxone and how to dispense it safely. Whether accidental or intentional, opioid overdoses don't have to end in a fatality.