Naloxone Hydrochloride, also known as Narcan, is a nasal spray used as an antidote for opiate drug overdoses.

(AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Colorado's Medicaid program will now cover a new opioid overdose prevention mechanism: a nasal mist atomizer that delivers naloxone. The medicine has been hailed as a tool to prevent deaths from heroin or prescription drug overdose.
Medicaid already covered naloxone, but before this, a person on Medicaid would need to use a needle to inject it or buy the atomizer device out of pocket. Officials hope that a family member or friend may be able to administer a naloxone spray more quickly and easily to someone who may be overdosing.
 
"Using the atomizer, overdoses may be treated more easily and efficiently as almost anyone may administer this life saving drug nasally with little training," said Dr. Judy Zerzan, chief medical officer for Colorado's Medicaid program.
 
The decision follows a new law that allows prescribers to issue standing orders for naloxone, which streamlines the prescribing of the medication.