91 LIVES SAVED IN 2018 VIA 1ST RESPONDERS NALOXONE PROGRAM – Arkansas Takeback

News

91 LIVES SAVED IN 2018 VIA 1ST RESPONDERS NALOXONE PROGRAM

From the distribution of 3,300 Narcan kits to first responder agencies throughout Arkansas, 91 lives have been saved since Jan. 1, 2018. Among the items contained in a Narcan kit are two Naloxone nasal sprays, an opioid antagonist used to reverse the effects of an opioid induced overdose.

“Our goal is to get the life-saving naloxone kits in the hands of all first responders in the state, which includes them completing a training program,” Arkansas Drug Director Kirk Lane said. “In the near future, we also want to distribute naloxone kits to various people in society. When a life is saved with naloxone, there is hope for recovery.”

The 1,300 Narcan kits were provided by the Criminal Justice Institute through a grant provided by the Blue & You Foundation for a Healthier Arkansas.

Though it should be used in an emergency situation (a suspected opioid overdose), Naloxone has no effect on non-opioid overdoses. Naloxone is available for purchase at some pharmacies in Arkansas.

To reduce the morbidity and mortality of opioid overdoses in Arkansas, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson has a standing order [Arkansas Code § 17-92- 101(16)] allowing Arkansas-licensed pharmacists to initiate naloxone therapy including ordering, dispensing and/or administering naloxone, along with any necessary supplies for administration, to eligible persons who are at risk of experiencing an opioid-related overdose, or who are family members, friends, or others who are in a position to assist a person at risk of experiencing an opioid-related overdose.

Arkansas is 1 of 40 states exercising the Good Samaritan Overdose Immunity Laws, which encourages people to seek out medical attention for an overdose or for follow-up care after naloxone has been administered. These laws generally provide immunity from arrest, charge or prosecution for certain controlled substance possession and paraphernalia offenses when a person who is either experiencing an opiate-related overdose or observing one calls 911 for assistance or seeks medical attention. For more information: http://www.ncsl.org/research/civil-and-criminal-justice/drug-overdose-immunity-good-samaritan-laws.aspx.