HARRISBURG — Pennsylvania is expanding efforts to make the anti-overdose medication naloxone available to the public with a statewide distribution day next week.
Officials said Thursday that naloxone will be provided free to any state resident at 80 locations — most of them state, county and municipal health offices — from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Dec. 13.
“The life-saving medication naloxone is essential for all of us to have on hand, particularly if you have a loved one suffering from opioid-use disorder,” Gov. Tom Wolf said. “We want to ensure that through this opportunity for free naloxone, we can save more lives and get more Pennsylvanians 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.”
The drug is also regularly available at most pharmacies in Pennsylvania, at little or no cost for those with insurance.
It can reverse overdoses by blocking opioids’ effect on the brain and respiratory system.
“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.”
The Wolf administration says over the past four years more than 20,000 people in Pennsylvania have been revived by police and emergency medical services responders using naloxone.