CHICAGO (CBS) — U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk was pressuring the Food and Drug Administration to quickly approve a nasal spray that can treat heroin overdoses in an emergency.

WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports a drug called Naloxone, or Narcan – made by Lake Forest-based Hospira – can reverse the effects of an overdose, and can be given through the nose.

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The drug has been approved for use via a syringe, but Kirk said some people aren’t comfortable injecting the drug.

“The problem that we have is that the nasal version of Narcan is not yet approved by the FDA. When I talked to the president of Hospira, he said that the approval of Narcan for general use in this area is coming from the FDA in seven to eight years,” Kirk said.

The senator called that timeline unacceptable.

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DuPage County Coroner Dr. Richard Jorgensen said law enforcement has been using the nasal spray anyway, and it has saved 22 lives.

“It is effective. We have not had anyone who died when it was applied properly,” Jorgensen said.

Kirk said heroin addiction is not only an urban problem; it kills someone in the suburbs every three days.

Felicia Miceli, whose son died of a heroin overdose three years ago, said first responders did not have access to naloxone then.

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“I’m speaking on behalf of a lot of mothers, and a lot of young lives that are going to be saved, because of what the senator is doing,” she said.