TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) – A life-saving drug will soon be available over-the-counter.

The Food and Drug Administration approved Narcan for over-the-counter use. This will be the first opioid overdose treatment drug to be sold over the counter.

Accessibility and availability to Narcan has steadily increased over the past few years. Hamilton Center Chief of Crisis Diversion Services Natasha Newcomb said that this is step in the right direction.

She explained the importance of this being not only available to those who are using opioids, but for those in the medical field or family members wanting to help.

“It’s not just people who are using opioids that access Narcan,” Newcomb stated. “It’s family members, it’s friends, it’s people in the community that want to be a good citizen.”

The Hamilton Center introduced readily available Naloxone boxes early last year. They’ve been effective and have had a strong impact so far. Newcomb stated that about 13 doses from the boxes are used each month.

Terre Haute Fire Department Paramedic Zackary Herron said that he’s administered Narcan multiple times during his career. He’s explained that it’s positive to see that accessibility to the drug has risen in recent years.

Paramedics are able to use an IV with Narcan or the nasal spray depending on the severity of an overdose.

“If they’re too far gone or stop breathing we can immediately start an IV or do what most people can do now just a quick spray up the nose,” Herron said.

Herron advises to still seek medical attention if you’re in a position where you need to self-administer Narcan.

“Narcan works amazing,” Herron said. “But with opioids they can sometimes continue after the Narcan kind of wears away in the body.”

Although opioid addiction is still a problem in our area, Newcomb said that we’re taking steps forward in adding treatment options.

“We’re seeing more and more treatment options in the community and across the state,” Newcomb said.

Narcan is set to be available over the counter sometime during the summer.