When it comes to Opioid drugs, like heroin, the stats are stacked. According to the CDC, heroin use in the U.S. has more than doubled among folks between the ages of 18- 25.
In order to curb the stats, Walgreens has rolled out a new program that can help reverse an opioid overdose. While first responders have been using the drug naloxone for years, the hope is that making the life-saving pens available without a prescription will prevent overdose deaths.
“Heroin, to me, just turns me on edge, but right now you say heroin to kids, they’re like, ‘Oh that’s no big deal,’” said Kathy O’Keefe.
O`Keefe started the non-profit, Winning the Fight after losing her 18-year-old son, Brett, to a drug overdose in 2010.
“He actually died from a mix drug intoxication, so he had friends who did a little of this, a little of that. For the most part, he had overdosed on Xanax and heroin.”
O`Keefe even helped produce a documentary where addicts told their stories.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity for a parent and a youth to sit down and watch together so they can open up a discussion that parents really don’t want to have.”
O’Keefe also says Walgreens’ no-prescription program is a step in the right direction but hopes this will open up a bigger debate on the dangers of drugs.
“Somebody is going to talk to our kids about drugs. The question is it going to be us or a friend of theirs who sells drugs.”