COLUMBIA - "Three months ago, we took a step toward tackling the opioid addiction crisis we have in Missouri," said Columbia Ward 2 City Councilman Michael Trapp.
Trapp is referring to the actions of Randall Williams, the director of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. Williams issued a standing order allowing all Missouri pharmacies to sell naloxone to customers who do not have a prescription.
Naloxone is a fast acting nasal spray intended to revive a person suffering from an opioid overdose. It is meant to increase a victim's capacity for breathing, as most overdose-related deaths come as a result of suffocation.
Three months later, most Columbia pharmacies have naloxone on their shelves.
"We're not selling a lot of them to people without a prescription, but I don't see that as a bad thing," said Kilgore's Pharmacist Bill Morrissey. "We just want people to know that it's here, available to them when and if they need it."
Not every pharmacy is carrying the drug. Flow's Pharmacy is not stocked with naloxone, and that's an intentional move. It said the nasal spray is best administered by a trained medical professional.
Trapp agreed that administering naloxone alone is not enough to make sure that someone will survive an opioid overdose, saying it would be best to call an EMT once the naloxone has been sprayed.
He said he is very happy that the drug is more available now than ever.
"Naloxone has already saved lives in Columbia. If someone needs it, I want them to be able to get it," he said.