From Alabama Dept. of Public Health:
To address the opioid epidemic within the state of Alabama and to help prevent opioid overdose deaths, first responders throughout the state will have access to 600 kits of the lifesaving antidote naloxone.
This distribution will be made possible through a collaborative effort with Kaléo Pharma, the Alabama District Attorneys Association, the Office of Prosecution Services, a partnership between Air University and Harvard University, and the Alabama Department of Public Health. More than 700 people died in Alabama due to drug overdoses in 2015.
Naloxone is an easy-to-use antidote for an overdose from heroin or other opioid drugs. When law enforcement personnel arrive on a scene and suspect a person has overdosed, the officer can administer the injection which will cause the temporary reversal of an opioid overdose, allowing enough time for emergency medical personnel to arrive.
“We are fortunate that through a special allocation in a grant these lifesaving medications are made available at no cost to the state. We are taking a step in the right direction to help address the opioid epidemic in Alabama,” Acting State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris said. “Increased availability of naloxone for first responders will address the opioid problem in the state.”
Alabama Emergency Management Agency Director Col. Brian Hastings, U.S. Air Force (Ret.), said, “I am so proud that Alabama has very progressive laws allowing first responders to provide lifesaving aid to those in need. This unique partnership and program builds lifesaving capability in our Alabama law enforcement enterprise to make our state safer for all and to save lives. There is nothing worse than watching someone die, especially when we know we have the capability to prevent it.”
Barry Matson, executive director of the Alabama District Attorneys Association and the Office of Prosecution Services, said, “Each first responder who receives a kit will receive the necessary training to administer this lifesaving antidote to address the opioid epidemic in Alabama.”
Matson explained that Alabama’s district attorneys voted to accept the kits for local distribution. Naloxone will not only protect first responders, it can be used for any life at risk. This program not only provides the antidote to overdose, but also essential training for first responders. The distribution will begin next week.
The two-dose kits were provided via a grant through Kaléo Pharma. The kits are intended for first responder organizations to use in the field and were provided by the EVZIO® Naloxone HCI Injection product donation program.