- Associated Press - Thursday, June 9, 2016

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Alabama public health officials are praising a newly enacted law that is meant to expand access to a drug that can reverse opioid overdoses.

Alabama Department of Public Health officials said in a statement Thursday that the legislation allows pharmacists to distribute naloxone and unlimited refills to people who may be called for help during an overdose and people who may be at risk of having an overdose.

Naloxone blocks opioid receptors and reverses the effects of a potential overdose from drugs including heroin, morphine and oxycodone. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the drug may be used in the form of a nasal spray or as an injection.

Officials say expanded access to the drug could help first responders save lives during emergencies.

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