HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – Springfield Pharmacy will deliver 60 naloxone kits to MiraVista Behavioral Health Center in Holyoke on Wednesday.

When Governor Charlie Baker signed the “An Act for Prevention and Access to Appropriate Care and Treatment of Addiction,” a chapter of the 2018 legislation expanded the access to the life-saving drug naloxone that temporarily reverses the effects of an opioid overdose.

This expansion during a time when the Commonwealth was dealing with an opioid-overdose crisis allowed pharmacies to dispense the drug, with the brand name Narcan, without a prescription to anyone at risk of going through such an overdose or others that are in a position to help them. The update to the existing legislation allowed properly-trained public safety responders to dispense naloxone kits.

The expansion of access to the drug is credited with helping save thousands of lives, and kits with naloxone for delivery in the form of a nasal spray, remain a key part of the state’s harm reduction strategy.

On Wednesday, Springfield Pharmacy will deliver 60 naloxone kits to MiraVista Behavioral Health Center in Holyoke. Springfield Pharmacy is covering the cost of all the kits, totaling $3,000, to ensure patients and staff have access to the lifesaving goods of Narcan.

“The standing order allows us to dispense naloxone with or without a prescription to any person that is at risk of experiencing an opioid-related overdose,” said Alex Wu, Springfield Pharmacy manager and co-owner. “It also allows naloxone to be dispensed to family members, friends, or anyone that may be in the position to help an individual at risk of an overdose.”

Wu says as an opioid receptor antagonist, naloxone when administered, “displaces opioids from these receptors and reverses their effects.”