Overdose antidote naloxone will be available at 87 locations across Pennsylvania — including four in the Valley — on Wednesday and again Sept. 25.
According to a press release from Gov. Tom Wolf's office, the state will provide free naloxone to any Pennsylvanian who wants it "as part of the administration’s ongoing effort to reduce the number of opioid overdoses and get residents into treatment." Distributions will primarily take place at state health centers and county/municipal health departments tomorrow from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sept. 25 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., as supplies last.
When state health officials conducted similar giveaways last year, supplies quickly ran out across the state.
“The life-saving medication naloxone is essential for every resident to have on hand, particularly if you have a loved one suffering from opioid-use disorder,” Governor Tom Wolf said. “We want to ensure that all Pennsylvanians have the proper tools to help fight this opioid crisis and through this opportunity for free naloxone, we are saving lives and getting those who need it most into treatment. Keeping naloxone in your home, work or even in your car can make the difference between someone getting into treatment or dying from this disease.”
Naloxone will be available at the Valley's four state health centers, located at the following addresses:
Montour County SHC, 329 Church St, Danville
Northumberland County SHC, 247 Pennsylvania Ave, Sunbury
Selinsgrove Center, 1000 Route 522, Selinsgrove
Union County SHC, 1610 Industrial Blvd, Lewisburg
According to state data, since November 2014, more than 25,000 people have been revived with naloxone by police officers and EMS providers in Pennsylvania. First responders have access to naloxone for free through funding set aside in the 2019-2020 budget.
“We are at a critical crossroads in combatting the opioid epidemic in Pennsylvania,” said Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs Secretary Jen Smith. “We have a choice to accept overdoses and the disease of addiction as the new normal or to fight back. I choose to fight. We simply cannot get an individual the help they desperately need following an overdose if they are dead. I hope that all Pennsylvanians use the naloxone distribution days to proactively take action to save our loved ones.”
In addition to being able to get naloxone for free on Sept. 18 and 25, it is carried at most pharmacies across the state year-round. Naloxone is available to many with public and private insurance at pharmacies either for free or at a low cost.
“Naloxone has one function: to reverse the effects of opioids on the brain and respiratory system to save someone’s life,” Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said. “It is impossible to get someone into treatment who is dead. In 2018, more than 4,400 people died from a drug overdose. 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.”