LITTLE ROCK (KTHV) — For parents or those who have loved ones battling drug addiction, Arkansas pharmacies will soon have one more tool to help.
An overdose reversal drug, Narcan, or Naloxone, will be available for purchase at pharmacies across the state. Kroger is the first to express interest in selling the drug without a prescription.
Nearly 400 lives are lost each year in the state of Arkansas to drug overdoses. One of those lives lost last year was 20 year old William Doerhoff.
“He had a 3.7 GPA from Little Rock Catholic High, scored a 27 on the ACT,” said Scott Doerhoff, William’s father.
William Doerhoff spent his weekends volunteering. He was known as an outgoing, kind, college student who was engaged to be married.
“Will was that kid who would do anything for anyone. He had no prejudice about him in any way shape or form,” said Scott Doerhoff.
Scott Doerhoff never expected him to get into drugs.
“We started noticing cash missing,” said Scott Doerhoff.
William first overdosed in 2015 and went to rehab. Last October, William took his final breath after overdosing on heroin.
“One dose of a drug will kill you and as I tell people I have a dead son to prove that,” said Scott Doerhoff.
A state law passed this year, Act 284, allowing pharmacists to initiate therapy and sell an overdose reversal drug, Naloxone, over the counter without a prescription.
“As a parent, really all that your ever wanting is a fighting chance to save your child’s life,” said Scott Doerhoff.
Kroger is already working to put it on their shelves.
“If we have access to naloxone and we know we’re struggling with this issue, that’s one more tool I have to save my child’s life,” he said.
The Board of Pharmacy Director expects pharmacists to begin selling the drug this August. He told us it’s a problem that shouldn’t be ignored with hundreds dying from overdose each year in the state.
“I can tell you, when that child takes their last breath and they have their last heartbeat, there’s no going back to say ‘I should have done something different,’ and that’s the hard part of it,” said Scott Doerhoff.
The Arkansas Board of Pharmacy director told us he fully supports having the overdose reversal drug available. He said it’s been used to save drug abusers, as well as children, law enforcement, even animals that were exposed to drugs accidentally.