Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) officials have announced they are distributing free kits of naloxone, the medication that can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose.
DPH says they will be giving away the kits in all three counties, starting with an event on Saturday, March 2nd in New Castle. Later events likely in the lower part of the state will be announced at a later date.
Officials say each kit will contain two doses of naloxone, and members of the public will be given one-on-one training on how to administer the drug. There will also be representatives present from the Division of Substance abuse and Mental Health (DSAMH). DPH Director Dr. Karyl Rattay tells WGMD “The data are telling us that 80 percent of overdoses happen in a residence. If family or friends of someone overdosing have naloxone immediately accessible, it can mean the difference between life or death for that person.”
DPH says within three to five minutes of being given the drug, naloxone can counteract the life-threatening respiratory depression caused by an opioid-related overdose, stabilizing the patient’s breathing. That can add minutes to a patient’s life, crucial minutes that they say provide emergency responders time to arrive.
Officials say there were 291 deaths last year in Delaware suspected of being overdoses. DPH says the free naloxone events is an additional step in their ramping up of use of the drug as a life-saving measure, with nearly 1,000 additional administrations of the drug in 2018 compared to the year 2017.
Additional information about the public events and free kits of naloxone are available at HelpIsHereDE.com