MI extends emergency rules on naloxone

LANSING, Mich. (WOOD) — In an effort to save lives of overdose victims, Michigan is extending an emergency order allowing individuals to obtain medication that reverses opioid overdoses.

In May, Gov. Rick Snyder requested emergency rules that extended the distribution of naloxone. The emergency rules allowed registered pharmacies to dispense the drug without a prescription from a physician, and people who are concerned about the potential risk of an overdose to possess the drug.

On Tuesday, Lt. Gov. Brian Calley announced the extension of the emergency rules. In the first three months of the rules, nearly 1,290 orders were dispensed.

>>Inside woodtv.com: The opioid crisis in West Michigan

About half of Michigan’s pharmacies that are eligible have registered to dispense naloxone to those at risk or their loved ones. Pharmacies are tracking the amount of naloxone being dispensed and reporting those figures to the government on a quarterly basis.

Opioid-related deaths have risen dramatically in the last five years. According to a release from Calley’s office, more people died in the last five years than in the 10-year period before it.

President Donald Trump declared opioid abuse a national public health emergency last month, allowing the government to redirect resources and expand medical services in rural areas.