Swift action can save a life.

In response to the nationwide opioid crisis, the Iowa Department of Public Health and University of Iowa Health Care have partnered to provide naloxone (Narcan nasal spray) to all Iowans who need or want it.

The drug, used to reverse opioid overdose, will be provided free of charge to Iowans through a new program called “Tele-Naloxone,” funded by the Federal State Opioid Response grant.

“The great thing about this project is that it increases awareness of opioid overdoses and increases access to naloxone,” said UIHC Ambulatory Pharmacy Director Lisa Mascardo.

According to CHI Health Missouri Valley President Jonathan Moe, the local medical center has responded to opioid and methamphetamine overdoses.

CHI provided area Emergency Medical Service crews with Naloxone and training on use of the reversal drugs last year.

“Opioid overdoses across the country and in Iowa have risen over the years. The state of Iowa has done a great job of identifying and rolling out programs such as the Tele-Naloxone project. As a result, Iowa has one of the lowest opioid overdose rates in the country, and Harrison County sees similar rates as the rest of the state,” Moe added. “Even though the state has one of the lowest rates in the country, there continues to be work at the state and local levels to curb this increase.”

Individuals who wish to obtain a kit can participate in a brief consultation with a UIHC pharmacist using a mobile phone platform, according to a recent press release.

Following the consultation, the kit will be mailed to the individual anywhere in Iowa.

“Cost should not be a barrier when it comes to saving someone’s life from an overdose. Through this effort, our hope is it no longer will be,” stated IDPH Opioid Initiatives Director Kevin Gabbert.

Iowans can participate even if they have received a supply in the past, according to Mascardo.

The partners encourage anyone who may be in a position to assist in the event of an opioid overdose to receive Narcan education and have a supply on hand.

“We look forward to working closely with individuals in the community,” Marcado said.

“The sooner the reversal drug is administered, the better. Anyone administering the reversal drug in the community needs to ensure the individual still seeks medical attention right away,” Moe said.

For more information, or to order naloxone, visit www.naloxoneiowa.org.

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