The Lexington-Fayette County Health Department provided 144 naloxone kits Tuesday at its first class to train the community on the overdose-reversing medication. Due to overwhelming demand, the health department plans to hold additional community classes to be announced soon.
Naloxone, also known by the brand name Narcan, blocks opiate receptors in the brain, works in 1-3 minutes and lasts 30-90 minutes. It can cause withdrawal symptoms such as nausea and disorientation, but there is no risk for abuse or addiction. If given in a timely manner, the antidote can prevent deaths from overdoses due to opioid drugs, such as oxycodone or heroin.
“Ready access to naloxone at home or in the community can save lives,” said Commissioner of Health Dr. Kraig Humbaugh. “Knowing when and how to use Narcan gives people a chance for recovery in the future.”
The free naloxone kits were available to the community through a partnership between the health department, Drug Free Lex and the Kentucky Injury Prevention and Research Center, part of the University of Kentucky College of Public Health, and a bona fide agent for the Kentucky Department for Public Health.
The purchase of Narcan was supported by a grant 2014-PM-BX-0010 (Data-Driven Multidisciplinary Approaches to Reducing Prescription Abuse in Kentucky) awarded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance, U.S. Department of Justice. For additional information, like the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department on Facebook at www.facebook.com/LFCHD, or follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/LFCHD and Instagram at @lexpublichealth.