Pilot program offers free Narcan in 3 southeast Nebraska pharmacies

NEBRASKA CITY, Neb. (WOWT)-- A pilot program that could save lives is coming our way. The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services has teamed up with three pharmacies to distribute free Narcan.

Naloxone hydrochloride (NARCAN) | Photo Source: Stephanie Alvarez Ewens / CVS / MGN

Narcan has been around for a while but what's new is that it will be readily available to regular people like you and me, but only in southeast Nebraska. The hope is to make it statewide

Andrew Snodgrass is a paramedic in Nebraska City. He’s in the southeast region of the state where beginning Sunday, Narcan will be available at no cost.

“I have very strong mixed feelings. On the one side, it will save lives, on the other side I feel it will mobilize people to use it…be fine,” said Snodgrass.

Nebraska City paramedics say they use their Narcan about 10-12 times a year. Unfortunately many are familiar faces.

“They aren’t getting the help they need and we are still getting taxed to help them over and over again, this is the first step in a long chain of positive steps,” said Snodgrass.

Snodgrass says the bigger problem is the lack of mental health and substance abuse clinics in rural Nebraska.

“Having people overdose in rural communities is a way bigger issue because we can’t get them the help they need in a timely manner,” said Snodgrass.

This is only a pilot program for now. When it begins on Sunday, only three pharmacies will have it available, two in Lincoln and one in Auburn, which is south of Nebraska City.