LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – An act signed into Arkansas law Thursday makes it easier to administer life-saving naloxone to treat an opioid overdose.

The law amends the state’s Naloxone Access Act, enlarging the number of people who can administer the drug and under what circumstances.

Naloxone is a quick-acting medicine administered to someone who is overdosing on opioids. Called an “opioid antagonist,” it is often administered as a nasal spray under the name Narcan.

Initially, naloxone use was restricted to first responders or medical professionals. Now the group allowed to use it is expanded to include anyone acting in good faith who thinks a naloxone dose is required.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Narcan for sale without a prescription on March 29. The amendment to the Arkansas law reflects that change by removing the prescription requirement for naloxone use.

Anybody who administers naloxone as a good-faith effort is immune from civil penalties under the law.

The Naloxone Access Act amendment goes into effect immediately.