California lifts barrier to opioid overdose antidote

- California health officials are eliminating another barrier to accessing an antidote for opioid overdoses. 

The California Department of Health has issued an order that it says will give more groups access to the synthetic drug naloxone, which works almost immediately to reverse an opioid overdose.

Department of Health Director Karen Smith said Friday the order allows organizations that may not have a medical director to distribute and administer the antidote.

That could include groups with syringe exchange programs. 

Smith said more than half of U.S. states have similar policies.  

California since 2015 has allowed patients to buy naloxone from a pharmacy without a prescription, but not all pharmacies carry it.
 

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