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Yavapai County Task Force Aims to Save More Lives Featured

YCSO Facebook February 28, 2023 357

Yavapai County task force begins program aimed at saving lives from opioid overdose.

Big Idea

  • An FDA Advisory panel unanimously voted to recommend approval of Narcan (aka: Naloxone)
  • The recommendation includes the availability to purchase without a prescription
  • The goal is to save countless lives
  • PANT, MatFORCE and the DEA will begin the 'Naloxone Leave Behind' program
  • Read more...

Saving Lives with Narcan

Last week the Food and Drug Administration advisory panel unanimously voted to recommend the agency approve Narcan (known in generic form as Naloxone), a life-saving drug for opioid overdoses, be made available to purchase over the counter without a prescription. Greater access to Naloxone, law enforcement has argued, has the potential to save countless lives. 

While waiting for FDA approval for over-the-counter availability, Yavapai County’s Partners Against Narcotics Trafficking (PANT), in coordination with MatFORCE and the DEA is about to begin the “Naloxone Leave Behind” program, where law enforcement will leave Narcan with people when responding to suspected overdoses and when serving narcotics related search warrants. 

They will also leave information on how to administer naloxone if needed to save a life, and information on treatment options. This program is in response to the sky rocking opioid overdose cases seen across the county and country. 

According to an article in the Washington Examiner, “Naloxone has been effective in treating fentanyl poisoning. Illicit fentanyl, a highly addictive synthetic opioid, is 50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times more potent than morphine. Two milligrams, roughly the weight of a mosquito, and small enough to fit on the tip of a pencil, is considered a potentially lethal dose.”

PANT provided the following statistics for Yavapai County showing the need for this important program.

  2021 2022

Total Overdoses

160 145
Fatal Overdoses 38 43
Naloxone Administered 95 73

 

“Yavapai County law enforcement does carry Narcan in their patrol cars, but they cannot always get to an overdose in progress fast enough. Leaving Narcan with those who have or may in the future suffer an overdose, will hopefully slow the number of fatalities,” said PANT Commander and YCSO Lieutenant Winfrey.

NARCAN IS NOT A MAGIC BULLET

It’s important to note that while Naloxone is successfully used in emergencies, it doesn’t replace emergency medical care, health officials warn. Naloxone is metabolized by your body which will then return the victim to an overdose state. If naloxone is used, immediate medical care is crucial. 

Helping Someone in Need Will NOT Get You Arrested

Law enforcement wants to stress that helping a person in need will not get you legal trouble. The Good Samaritan law in Arizona prevents individuals from criminal prosecution for drug offenses when they seek out naloxone for someone suffering from an opioid overdose or when they report an opioid overdose to the authorities.

The FDA has said it will make a decision by March 29, although the decision could come sooner. 

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Last modified on Tuesday, 28 February 2023 01:36
Published in Prescott.news