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N.C. buys 40,000 naloxone kits to reverse opioid overdoses

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FAYETTEVILLE (AP) — North Carolina has more doses of a life-saving medication to reverse an opioid overdose at its disposal, while rules have been changed so another treatment to combat opioid addiction can begin sooner.

Gov. Roy Cooper said Friday the state has purchased nearly 40,000 additional units of naloxone for distribution to emergency medical technicians, anti-addiction centers and volunteer groups. He also announced at a Fayetteville treatment center that Medicaid no longer requires prior approval before physicians can prescribe another drug that reduces opioid cravings and thwarts abuse.

The two-dose naloxone units cost $3 million, paid for with a federal block grant. The medication has been credited with saving the lives of thousands of people in North Carolina who were overdosing on heroin or other opium-based drugs.

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