The Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency recently awarded Lancaster General Health/Penn Medicine a grant to develop and implement the “Lancaster County Overdose Prevention Collaborative.”
The goal of the project is to save lives by providing the antidote naloxone (commonly known by the brand name Narcan) to first responders and other community partners in Lancaster County.
Narcan’s benefit is its ability to block the action of opiates that cause depressed heart rate and breathing. If administered soon enough, the antidote can immediately reverse a potentially fatal overdose.
Dr. Michael Reihart instructs a group of Quick and First Responders on the workings of Narcan during a training and distribution session. LG Health/Penn Medicine has hosted 10 sessions so far this year.
LG Health/Penn Medicine will distribute 550 Narcan kits to first responders to use to save the lives of those who have become unconscious and unresponsive due to heroin overdose. Part of the initiative is to properly train responders, track use of the kits, and ensure that substance abuse resources and support are provided for individuals in need.
With heroin and prescription painkiller use nearly doubling nationally in the last two decades, Narcan is one of the most powerful weapons against a growing overdose epidemic.
The next phase of this initiative will be focused on awareness, education and prevention.
For more information contact 717-544-7901 or 844-9-NARCAN (627226).