Narcan is becoming harder to find at drugstores across America

The drug, also known as naloxone, reverses the effects of an opioid overdose

Photo collage of several inhalers of Narcan, very sparsely dotted around many empty spaces shaped like the packet.
Activists have long pushed for the medicine to be more readily available in public places in the event of an overdose emergency
(Image credit: Illustration by Julia Wytrazek / Getty Images)

With the opioid crisis in the United States continuing to kill thousands of people every year, many are touting the benefits of a potentially life-saving drug: Narcan, which can prevent overdose deaths if administered quickly. But in recent months, getting your hands on a vial of Narcan has been easier said than done. 

Narcan, also sold as the generic medication naloxone, can reverse the effects of opioid overdoses — including heroin, fentanyl and prescriptions — when given in time. It is sold as a two-pack of nasal spray, and unlike other overdose-reversing medications, has been approved for over-the-counter sales at drugstores. However, this also means that Narcan is susceptible to supply chain issues that can plague nationwide chains.

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