Delco, Wolf to hand out free nalox­one to fight opi­oid ODs

Daily Times (Primos, PA) - - NEWS - By Kath­leen Carey [email protected]­tu­ry­media.com

“We want to ensure that through this op­por­tu­nity for free nalox­one, we can save more lives and get more Penn­syl­va­ni­ans into treat­ment. Keep­ing nalox­one in your home, work or even in your car can make the dif­fer­ence be­tween some­one get­ting into treat­ment or dy­ing from this dis­ease.”

— Penn­syl­va­nia Gov. Tom

Gov. Tom Wolf has launched his own of­fen­sive against the opi­oid epi­demic with a statewide nalox­one distri­bu­tion next Thurs­day and a on­line por­tal for sub­stance abuse treat­ment op­tions.

Nalox­one can re­v­erse an over­dose by block­ing the ef­fects of opi­oids on the brain and has been placed in the hands of first re­spon­ders to use when fac­ing per­sons in the throes of an over­dose. Since a 2014 law gave po­lice of­fi­cers the right to carry Nalox­one, more than 1,300 lives have been saved in Delaware County.

On Thurs­day from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., any Penn­syl­va­nia res­i­dent can get the life-sav­ing drug for free. In Delaware County, nalox­one will be dis­trib­uted at the state health cen­ter at 151 W. Fifth St., Suite 1 in Ch­ester. In Ch­ester County, it can be ob­tained at the county health depart­ment at 601 West­town Road, Suite 290 in West Ch­ester. There are three lo­ca­tions in Mont­gomery County, all county Of­fices of Pub­lic Health: one at 1430 DeKalb St., Norristown; an­other at 346 King St. in Pottstown; and an­other at 102 York Road, Suite 401 in Wil­low Grove. The Mont­gomery County lo­ca­tions will be open

Wolf

from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“The life-sav­ing med­i­ca­tion nalox­one is es­sen­tial for all of us to have on hand, par­tic­u­larly if you have a loved one suf­fer­ing from opi­oid-use dis­or­der,” Wolf said. “We want to ensure that through this op­por­tu­nity for free nalox­one, we can save more lives and get more Penn­syl­va­ni­ans into treat­ment. Keep­ing nalox­one in your home, work or even in your car can make the dif­fer­ence be­tween some­one get­ting into treat­ment or dy­ing from this dis­ease.”

In the past three years, 648 peo­ple have died in Delaware County due to drug-re­lated deaths. The equiv­a­lent is 33 deaths per 100,000 pop­u­la­tion in 2015 to 46 deaths per 100,000 last year. Sev­enty per­cent of last year’s deaths had some link to fen­tanyl.

Just last month, Delaware County Dis­trict At­tor­ney Katay­oun Copeland an­nounced that doses of Nar­can had been placed in 60 au­to­matic ex­ter­nal de­fib­ril­la­tor cab­i­nets in the county court­house, Gov­ern­ment Cen­ter and other county build­ings. The pub­lic is wel­come to use these for free. Each cabi­net has 4 mg doses of Nar­can with step-by-step in­struc­tions on how to ad­min­is­ter it nasally.

In ad­di­tion Penn­syl­va­nia Sec­re­tary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine is­sued a stand­ing or­der pre­scrip­tion so that any state res­i­dent who needed to get nalox­one at a phar­macy for some­one in need would be able to do so for free at low cost through pub­lic and pri­vate in­sur­ance.

“Nalox­one has one func­tion: to re­v­erse the ef­fects of opi­oids on the brain and res­pi­ra­tory sys­tem and save some­one’s life,” Levine said. “It is im­pos­si­ble to get some­one into treat­ment who is dead. Ev­ery Penn­syl­va­nian has a role to play as a po­ten­tial first re­spon­der and can save a life by hav­ing nalox­one on hand and us­ing it if they come across some­one who has over­dosed.”

The gover­nor also an­nounced the launch­ing of the Drug and Al­co­hol Re­fer­ral Tool (DART) at www.ddap.pa.gov/GetHelp, a web­site de­signed to cen­tral­ize avail­able re­sources for peo­ple look­ing for re­sources as­so­ci­ated with sub­stance abuse treat­ment but don’t know where to start. Peo­ple can also call 1-800-662-4357 (HELP).

DART uses a per­son’s char­ac­ter­is­tics such as their age, county of res­i­dents and vet­eran sta­tus, as well as if they are ex­pe­ri­enc­ing home­less­ness, le­gal con­cerns or trans­porta­tion is­sues re­lated to treat­ment to best get them help.

“Con­nect­ing peo­ple seek­ing treat­ment to com­pre­hen­sive ser­vices that can help meet all of their needs from the start is crit­i­cal as they work to­wards re­cov­ery,” Penn­syl­va­nia Hu­man Ser­vices Sec­re­tary Teresa Miller said.

An­other state of­fi­cial, state Drug and Al­co­hol Sec­re­tary Jen Smith, spoke of the role all peo­ple have in dis­re­gard­ing gen­er­al­iza­tions and false­hoods.

“One of the big­gest mis­con­cep­tions of in­di­vid­u­als bat­tling sub­stance use dis­or­der is that they want to die when the vast ma­jor­ity of over­dose deaths are ac­ci­den­tal,” she said. “We do not stand a chance in over­com­ing this epi­demic if we are un­able to help in­di­vid­u­als into treat­ment. I en­cour­age ev­ery­one to take ad­van­tage of this op­por­tu­nity to help their loved ones in their time of need.”

DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA FILE PHOTO

The state and Delaware County will be mak­ing doses of the opi­oidover­dose re­vers­ing drug Nalox­one avail­able to the pub­lic.

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