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Bucks County to Participate in Free Statewide Naloxone Distribution

December 11, 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Larry R. King, 215.348.6413, lrking@buckscounty.org

Three Bucks County locations will offer free doses of the overdose-reversal medication naloxone on Thursday as part of Gov. Wolf’s statewide “Stop Overdoses in PA: Get Help Now Week” initiative.  Naloxone poster (2)

“Last year, more than 5,000 Pennsylvanians died from an opioid overdose, and we all have to work together to stop this trend,” Wolf said. “My administration is making the overdose-reversal medication naloxone available for free on Dec. 13 to any Pennsylvanian who wants it. While naloxone will stop the overdose, it’s important to also call 911 for additional life-saving help and to get the patient to a hospital.”

In Bucks County, which had 232 overdose deaths last year, the county Health Department and the Bucks County Drug and Alcohol Commission, Inc., are partnering with the state in support of this effort. The naloxone distribution sites, which will operate from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., are:

  • Bucks County Drug and Alcohol Commission, 600 Louis Drive, Suite 102A, Warminster, PA 18974

     

  • Southern Bucks Recovery Community Center, 1286 Veterans Highway, Suite 6D, Bristol, PA 19007

  • Quakertown Branch of the Bucks County Free Library, 401 W. Mill St., Quakertown, PA 18951

“This is one more effort to ensure that our residents have access to the life-saving medication, Naloxone,” said Diane W. Rosati, executive director of the Drug and Alcohol Commission. “We encourage all residents who know someone who struggles with opiates to stop by one of our three designated sites to pick up Naxolone nasal spray.”

Naloxone, commonly marketed under the brand name Narcan, saves lives by reversing the effects of opioids on the brain and respiratory system. Police officers and EMS providers have revived more than 20,000 people in Pennsylvania over the past four years using naloxone.

“Simply put … opiates can kill, and naloxone can save a life,” Rosati said. “At the Bucks County Drug and Alcohol Commission, Inc., we know that treatment works and recovery is possible, and we are here to help each step along the way.”

Thursday’s event is expected to be the nation’s largest one-day naloxone distribution. While it is targeting those who cannot or do not wish to obtain naloxone from a pharmacy, the distribution is open to anyone who feels that he or she might benefit from having a dose of it on hand. This includes people who struggle with substance abuse or who know or come in contact with others who do.

Opioid abuse has been declared a public health emergency in Pennsylvania, and the Bucks County Health Department “supports the emergency response through surveillance, information sharing and, most importantly, by partnering with other organizations,” said Suzanne Redington, the county’s public health preparedness coordinator.

“The opioid epidemic goes beyond drug treatment and rehabilitation, requiring a commitment from health care, addiction specialists, public health, first responders, emergency management and many other partners,” Redington said. “The Naloxone Distribution Day is just one way agencies in Bucks County are partnering to combat this epidemic and improve the health of our community.”

The amount of naloxone allocated by the state to each county has been determined through a formula including risk factors such as emergency department overdose visits and EMS naloxone administrations. Members of the public will be allowed one free naloxone kit (which includes two doses) at the distribution sites.

Included with each kit will be educational reading material and two informational magnets: one showing the four-step process for administering naloxone and one with the Get Help Now phone number: 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

Bucks County residents can also call the Drug and Alcohol Commission at 215-773-9313 for information on local resources.