ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The New York State Health Department has issued a statewide order for naloxone starting on Monday, August 15. The order will allow New Yorkers to get naloxone at any pharmacy in the state without a prescription.

Naloxone is a medication that can be easily administered to block the effects of opioids allowing a person to regain consciousness and resume normal breathing. Officials have been trying to make overdose prevention medication more accessible after the number of overdose deaths increased during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Standing orders for naloxone have been issued in various areas of the state since 2015. Some pharmacies have their own standing orders, and the state Health Department has also had a mechanism for pharmacies seeking standing orders to obtain one. Those standing orders combined covered more than 2,600 pharmacies.

The new standing order applies to all pharmacies in the state. They do not need to apply individually. Pharmacies that already have naloxone standing orders may continue to use them. Participating pharmacies will also be required to give the health department information on their location and hours of operation so that a comprehensive online directory can be made available.

In October, Governor Kathy Hochul signed a legislative bill package to reduce drug-related overdose deaths across the state and encourage those suffering from addiction to seek help in their recovery.

New Yorkers struggling with an addiction, or whose loved ones are struggling, can find help and hope by calling the State’s toll-free, 24-hour, 7-day-a-week HOPEline at 1-877-8-HOPENY (1-877-846-7369) or by texting HOPENY (Short Code 467369).