CINCINNATI — The Kroger Co. Family of Pharmacies reported that it is taking several steps as part of a comprehensive commitment to help communities combat the nationwide opioid epidemic.
Kroger currently stocks naloxone, an opioid overdose-reversing drug, in its 2,300 pharmacies across 35 states and the District of Columbia with more than 1,900 of those locations dispensing naloxone without a prescription – making it easier for families, friends, caregivers and at-risk individuals to have the drug on hand if it is needed to save a life.
The U.S. Surgeon General urges more Americans to carry the lifesaving medication that can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose.
“We applaud the U.S. Surgeon General’s Advisory on Naloxone and Opioid Overdose, knowing the epidemic continues to devastate communities across our country. A person loses their life from an opioid overdose every 12.5 minutes,” Colleen Lindholz, Kroger’s president of pharmacy and The Little Clinic said in a statement. “We know that pharmacists are the most accessible health professionals to the public and play a vital role in providing access to the life-saving drug naloxone.”
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, an estimated 2.1 million people in the U.S. struggle with an opioid-use disorder and rates of opioid overdose deaths are rapidly increasing.
Kroger also announced plans to host drug take-back events at store locations across the country on April 28, in partnership with Cardinal Health and coinciding with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day.
Kroger is also partnering with EVERFI and Generation Rx to support drug prevention programs for high school students in certain markets.
“Every day in our stores and pharmacies, in large ways and small, Kroger is committed to being a part of the solution and helping people live healthier lives,” Lindholz added.