On Thursday, Dec. 13, Chester County’s Health Department and Department of Drug & Alcohol Services are hosting a free Naloxone Day, with doses of the medication being given away to anyone who cannot or does not wish to obtain it from a pharmacy.
The event is part of the Pennsylvania Department of Health’s campaign – entitled “Stop Overdoses in PA: Get Help Now” – and the goal is to increase awareness of and access to the lifesaving medication, especially for those who feel they can benefit from having a dose of naloxone on hand, who may have a substance use disorder, or those who may encounter someone in crisis.
From 11 AM-7 PM, two naloxone distribution sites will be set up in Chester County: one at the Chester County Government Services Center located at 601 Westtown Road in West Chester and the other at the Chester County Public Safety Training Campus located at 137 Modena Road in South Coatesville.
Recipients will not have to provide any personal information to receive the naloxone. Distribution is on a first-come, first-serve basis while supplies last and just one naloxone kit is available per person.
Naloxone, also known by the brand names Narcan or Evzio, is a medication which reverses opioid (prescription painkillers, fentanyl, and heroin) overdoses and gives the person a chance at recovery. When given during an opioid overdose, naloxone blocks the effects of opioids on the brain and restores breathing within minutes.
“Last year, Chester County lost 144 lives to accidental drug overdose, a majority of which involved opioids,” said Vince Brown, Director of the Chester County Department of Drug and Alcohol Services. “We are working together and must continue to work together to provide comprehensive solutions to the opioid epidemic, and access to naloxone is a key part of that. The medication saves lives.”
Chester County remains committed to tackling the opioid and heroin epidemic through intensive prevention, education, treatment, and law enforcement measures, and has an established Overdose Prevention Task Force.
To learn more about treatment services and other resources in Chester County, or to get involved in the Task Force, visit the Overdose Prevention Task Force website by clicking here. For more information on opioids, providing community education, and additional resources, download the Opioid Epidemic Community Tool Kit.