Photo via Wikimedia Commons

An antidote that reverses the effects of an overdose is seen as a key weapon in the fight against opioids. In Baltimore, however, supplies are running short.

According to WBAL-TV, the city health department is running low on the antidote, known as naloxone or narcan. There are about 4,000 doses available to last until May of 2018. At the current use, City Health Commissioner Leana Wen said that’s only enough to last for another month, as the health department believes 21,000 people in the city use heroin.

As heroin and other opioids reach epidemic levels, public health officials including Wen have been pushing to get naloxone to as many people as possible, from first responders to family members to loved ones of people struggling with addiction to needle exchange programs. The city mounted a push to train 20,000 people in two years.

To purchase more, Wen said the city will likely need emergency funds. CVS could now end up being a prime source, as naloxone also recently became available over the counter there.

Stephen Babcock

Stephen Babcock is the editor of Baltimore and an editor-at-large of Baltimore Fishbowl.