The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Narcan for over-the-counter use.

The goal is to reduce the number of opioid related deaths.

“In our community, countless lives are saved weekly by law enforcement, fire service and EMS; they’re administering Narcan in the field constantly,” said Dr. Christopher Cammarata, medical director for the UPMC Hamot emergency department.

Dr. Cammarata and local EMS personnel said in Erie, Narcan saves about 30 to 40 lives each month.

The FDA approved Narcan for over-the-counter use, and medical experts say those using opioids should have access to Narcan.

“Everybody should have it that is either an opioid abuser or even prescribed opioids because accidental overdoses happen as well,” Dr. Cammarata went on to say.

“If the family knows that they have a family member who does have an addiction to have it on hand. It’s definitely a little bit of an insurance policy to help start alleviate the reaction to the narcotic,” said Dave Crosby, Erie operations supervisor for EmergyCare.

Crosby said Narcan is even more necessary as a variety of opioids are being used on the street.

“Some of the potency of the narcotics is getting stronger. So, it’s taking more and more Narcan to help turn the patient around,” Crosby explained.