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RICHMOND, Va. — A potentially life-saving overdose-reversal medication will now be available over the counter at drug stores across Virginia.

Governor Terry McAuliffe announced Wednesday that all CVS Pharmacy locations across the state will be able to offer Naloxone without an individual prescription.

Naloxone can reverse overdoses from heroin or prescription opioids.

“Naloxone is a safe and effective antidote to opioid overdoses and by expanding access to this medication in our Virginia pharmacies by the use of a physician’s standing order for patients without a prescription, we can help save lives,” said Tom Davis, RPh, Vice President of Pharmacy Professional Practices at CVS Pharmacy.

More than 850 people have died in Virginia this year as a result of overdoses, making drug overdoses responsible for more deaths than car accidents, according to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.

Chesterfield County has experienced 50 overdoses and 14 deaths since January.

“Drug overdose is the Number One cause of unnatural death in Virginia, and it has been for the past three years,” said Governor McAuliffe.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe

Gov. Terry McAuliffe

McAuliffe said last year’s numbers indicate that about 1,000 Virginians died of drug overdose last year, including more than 500 from prescription opioids and 300 from heroin.

He said we must confront both prescription and illegal drugs to end the epidemic.

“CVS Health’s decision to make naloxone available without a prescription at all of its Virginia locations is a welcome and important step that will save lives here in Virginia,” he said.

CVS Health has also launched new digital resources on their website, to give patients and families a single destination to learn more about drug abuse prevention.

In addition to Virginia, CVS Pharmacy locations in 22 states can dispense naloxone to patients without an individual prescription.