HALIFAX -- Nova Scotia pharmacies are now stocking free naloxone kits as part of the province's strategy to battle opioid overdoses that currently claim nearly 60 lives a year in the province.

The chief medical officer of health, Dr. Robert Strang, says stocking pharmacies with the antidote for opioid overdoses will save lives.

Strang says anyone who uses prescription opioids or any illegal drug is at risk of overdose and should carry naloxone.

Health officials say that as of this week, anyone can pick up a kit anonymously in more than 240 locations across the province.

The program is part of an overall $1.1-million initiative announced in March that also distributed naloxone kits to police, provincial jails and harm reduction clinics in Sydney, Truro and Halifax.

As well, the province funded community-based organizations that distribute needles and information to addicts.