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Iowa Will Give Out Free Overdose Reversal Medication Friday

Tom Wolf
Naloxone can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. It's also available as a nasal spray.

Iowa officials will distribute 2,000 free opioid overdose reversal kits throughout the state this Friday.

More than 350 pharmacies will have naloxone, a drug that stops an opioid overdose, available for free. Each kit has two doses of the drug in a nasal spray form, branded as Narcan.

It’s part of the state’s effort to address increasing opioid-related deaths in the state.

“We want to put in the hands of those individuals that may find themselves in a situation where they encounter somebody that’s experiencing an opioid overdose,” says Kevin Gabbert with the Iowa Department of Public Health. “Or perhaps they use opioids themselves, and there’s some concern, and they want to have naloxone available and make family members or friends aware that they’re carrying this.”

People who use naloxone to stop an overdose should still seek medical attention after using it.

Gabbert says this form of naloxone usually costs about $140 to $150 at a pharmacy.

“If they were to go in and be expected to pay $140, many might not be able to afford that and so therefore wouldn’t get the medication,” Gabbert says.

The state used federal grant funds to buy the naloxone at a reduced price.

Katarina Sostaric is IPR's State Government Reporter