Quebec to provide naloxone in drug stores free of charge

Naloxone, the drug known for combating the effects of opioid overdoses, will be available free in Quebec's pharmacies as of Friday.

Health Minister Gaetan Barrette, along with Public Security Minister Lucie Charlebois, announced an expansion of their free antidote program on Thursday.

Naloxone will be given out freely and without a prescription to anyone over the age of 14, and first responders will also be equipped with naloxone kits.

The program aimed at making the life-saving drug more widely available was announced by the government in September, in an effort to prevent the kind of full-blown opioid overdose crisis that has taken hundreds of lives across the country.