There are many good reasons to feel encouraged about the increased access to naloxone.

There are also good reasons to be concerned.

First, briefly, naloxone is a drug that counters heroin or prescription opioid overdoses.

Though this drug was patented in 1961 — which has since expired — it was not approved for opioid overdose by the Food and Drug Administration until 1971.

Only in recent years were laws changed to allow wider distribution of naloxone.

Formerly, it was, by and large, only administered by paramedics and in hospital settings.

West Virginia has the nation's highest death rate from drug overdoses. State health officials said overdose deaths rose nearly 18 percent last year, killing 864 people.

Then, in 2015, the state Legislature allowed police, firefighters, and friends and family members to administer naloxone.

In 2016, West Virginia’s lawmakers passed legislation to allow pharmacists and pharmacy interns to dispense opioid counteracting drugs, such as naloxone, without a prescription.

And then this year, legislators approved a bill to allow school districts to provide for school nurses and other trained personnel to administer opioid antagonists, too.

The state Board of Education passed a policy in October that codified what lawmakers approved.

And only last week, the bishop of the state’s Episcopal Church encouraged congregations to carry naloxone.

Let’s be clear: We applaud lawmakers and others for recognizing that addiction is a health problem — an illness — not a crime.

Probably the most visible indicator of that sea change to drug addiction is the increasing access to naloxone. Rather than punish addicts, our society gives them a chance to live long enough to seek recovery.

Yet, like many well-intended policies and laws, the devil may not exactly be in the details. The side effects are hell.

All too often, the more many drugs are used, the more harmful they become.

Not in a physical sense, but our society’s natural inclination is toward a quick fix rather than a long-term solution.

While addiction treatments woefully fail to meet the demand, simply countering overdoses is the rage.

Another concern, much like the sharp rise in EpiPens, similar price gouging is happening for naloxone, too. We urge lawmakers to look at enacting laws to protect the affordability of generic drugs vital to stemming the opioid epidemic.

Incidents of drug overdoses where first responders are exposed to harmful opiates are also occurring more frequently.

Our point is that naloxone is no cure-all for what ails our state and our nation.

Far more importantly, increased access for addiction treatment is still the priority.