NEW YORK - (AP) - New York state health officials are announcing that 479 CVS pharmacies across the state will start selling the heroin antidote naloxone without a prescription.          

State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker says he hopes the agreement with CVS announced Thursday will save lives and get drug users on the road to recovery.

 Naloxone temporarily blocks the effects of heroin, OxyContin and other powerful painkillers. It has been used by ambulance crews and emergency rooms for decades. It is commonly known by the brand name Narcan.           

People who receive naloxone as a treatment should go to a hospital before the drug's effects wear off.           

The health department says naloxone itself has no potential for being abused because it has no effect unless a person has opioids in his or her system.