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N.M. pharmacists can prescribe anti-overdose drug

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) -- New Mexico pharmacists are being trained to prescribe a drug that can reverse the effects of a heroin overdose if administered quickly.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that the state Board of Pharmacy on Tuesday completed training the first 60 pharmacists on the use of naloxone, which is sold under the brand name Narcan.

The medicine is administered by attaching a nasal-tip inhaler to a small vial, which is used to spray a mist into the nose membrane. The drug flows directly to the brain, blocking opioids and restoring breathing.

Emergency rooms and some responders carry the drug, but Dale Tinker of the New Mexico Pharmacists Association says increased availability is a plus for public health because of the state's high rate of deaths from drug overdoses.