BOISE, Idaho — A new state law aimed at fighting the opioid epidemic takes effect Monday.

The new law expands access to life-saving drug naloxone, which is used to treat narcotic overdoses in an emergency situation.

Albertsons pharmacy technicians in the Boise area are the first in the state with the training to prescribe the drug.

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Gov. Brad Little signed the legislation into law in February. Pharmacists, physicians and nurse practitioners in Idaho currently have the authority to prescribe naloxone. This new law grants that ability to pharmacy technicians.

Earlier this month, Little issued an executive order to create an Idaho advisory group to guide healthcare decisions and strategies relating to opioid misuse.

"Idaho is leading other states in the steps we are taking to expand access to this critical medication and in our efforts to address the opioid crisis," Gov. Little said. "Training pharmacy technicians and all health professionals to prescribe naloxone further reaches our underserved and rural communities. Albertsons has been a key partner in increasing the scope of practice for both pharmacists and technicians to continue improving access to beneficial and lifesaving medications."

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So far, Albertsons has specially trained eight pharmacy technicians in the Boise area and plans to train additional technicians across the state over the coming months.

"Our pharmacies are on the frontlines of fighting opioid misuse, so we welcome the opportunity to expand our efforts in outreach, education, and naloxone dispensing. With a 163% increase in deaths from opioid overdoses in Idaho over the last decade, adding these newly trained caring professionals to our current efforts couldn't come soon enough. It directly supports our promise to serve and improve the health and wellness of our customers and patients," said Mark Panzer, Albertsons Companies Senior Vice President of Pharmacy Health and Wellness.