Updated January 2021
Naloxone in Pennsylvania: Free Distribution Days
The opioid crisis continues to plague the country. Every day a new article mentions the drug crisis, and unfortunately more and more people die of an overdose. The Keystone State is no exception with many people feeling the effects of this epidemic. Could free naloxone in Pennsylvania be the solution that they have been looking for?
What Is Naloxone?
Naloxone is a drug that blocks the effects of opioids and is used to treat an opioid overdose. The drug works by reducing the negative effects of opioids, particularly the serious breathing problems that occur with an overdose. The brand name is Narcan. It is typically injected or administered as nasal spray in emergency situations. It is meant to be easy to use for anyone so that they could use it in an emergency.
Although naloxone can help prevent an overdose, the person should still receive medical attention. Naloxone is also not a replacement for opiate addiction treatment.
Free Naloxone Distribution Days in Pennsylvania
As one of the states who has been hit the hardest by the increased opioid abuse in the country, the Pennsylvania opioid epidemic has been a major concern for lawmakers and the everyday Pennsylvanian alike. Desperate to see results in their efforts to combat the opioid crisis, Pennsylvania is taking a new approach.
In September, there were two days where free naloxone was distributed across Pennsylvania. This is following the high demand from the free Naloxone distribution days in December of 2018. This time the life-saving drug was distributed at 95 locations across the state free of charge. Last time the state handed out 5,000 kits of naloxone, but because of increased demand and growing awareness on the benefits of this drug for overdose, runners of the naloxone distribution days planned to pass out 10,000 kits this time.
For those who missed one on these distribution days, naloxone in Pennsylvania is available at most pharmacies in the state. The majority of Pennsylvania residents will be able to get the drug here for little to no charge. The hope is to arm people around the state with the life-saving drug to prevent more overdoses and to encourage people to get professional help like at our Pennsylvania inpatient detox center. Many people may have the drug on hand for a loved one who has a history of addiction while others may simply choose to carry it in case of an emergency with a stranger.
Why We Need Naloxone in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania, in particular, has been struck hard by the opioid crisis. In Pennsylvania, 65% of drug overdose deaths involved opioids in 2018, totaling out to 2,866 deaths.1 Although this number is alarming, naloxone may be preventing this number from being even higher. From January 1, 2018 to August 10, 2019 EMS administered 24,607 doses of naloxone.2 Imagine how many more lives could have been saved if naloxone could have been administered before EMS made it to the scene.
If you or a loved one is struggling with opioid addiction, ask for help. Our opiate, prescription pill, and heroin addiction treatment in PA are here to help you get your life back on track. Stop letting your addiction control your life. To learn more about our treatment options, reach out to us at 570-536-9621.
- NIH- Pennsylvania: Opioid-Involved Deaths and Related Harms
- Opendata PA – Pennsylvania Quick Stats