Free doses of Naloxone will be handed out on Thursday at 80 health centers across the state, including at the Butler County State Health Center on Brugh Avenue.
The distribution program is known as ‘Stop Overdoses in PA- Get Help Now.’
“We really view this as a coordinated effort to get Naloxone out into the public,” Governor Tom Wolf said.
The governor remains adamant that addiction is a disease, not a moral failing. He says nearly 3,000 people have been revived with Naloxone and then put into a treatment program.
“Treatment is the answer, but you have to be alive to get treatment,” Wolf said.
Each person during the giveaway will receive one free kit, which contains two doses of Narcan.
The Butler County State Health Center is located inside the Monarch Building, Suite 201. The distribution hours are from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday.
If you can’t make it to the health center on Thursday, you can pick up Narcan any day of the year at a Pennsylvania pharmacy.
Naloxone is a medication that can reverse an overdose caused by an opioid by blocking the effects of opioids on the brain. Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine issued a standing order prescription to any Pennsylvanian to get naloxone at a pharmacy for anyone who may need it.
“Naloxone has one function: to reverse the effects of opioids on the brain and respiratory system and save someone’s life, “Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said. “It is impossible to get someone in to treatment who is dead. Every Pennsylvanian has a role to play as a potential first responder and can save a life by having naloxone on hand and using it if they come across someone who has overdosed.”
Since November 2014, more than 20,000 people have been revived with naloxone by police officers and EMS providers in Pennsylvania.
“One of the biggest misconceptions of individuals battling substance use disorder is that they want to die, when the vast majority of overdose deaths are accidental,” said Drug and Alcohol Secretary Jen Smith. “We do not stand a chance in overcoming this epidemic if we are unable to help individuals into treatment. I encourage everyone to take advantage of this opportunity to help their loved ones in their time of need.”
In addition to being able to get naloxone for free on Dec. 13, it is available at most pharmacies across the state year-round. Naloxone is available to many with public and private insurance at pharmacies for free or at a low cost.