SLC Department of Health - Free NARCAN Available to Stem Overdose Deaths
Fort Pierce - Thursday November 3, 2022: The Florida Department of Health in St. Lucie County is offering free Narcan Nasal Spray kits in an effort to reduce the number of opioid related overdoes and deaths, often caused by fentanyl.
Narcan, otherwise known as Naloxone, is a medicine that rapidly reverses an opioid overdose by attaching to opioid receptors and blocking the drugs effects. Naloxone can quickly restore normal breathing to a person if their breathing has slowed or stopped.
St. Lucie County had 94 drug-related fatalities in 2021 and is on pace to have more drug-related fatalities this year than in 2021.
The Narcan kits consist of two Naloxone nasal sprays. They can be administered without a health care professional present. The kits are available to people who use drugs, to those with a history of drug use, to anyone at risk of experiencing an overdose, as well as to the friends, family members, and others who may witness an overdose.
“Naloxone is a critical tool in preventing future fatalities,” said Clint Sperber, Health Officer and Administrator with the DOH-St. Lucie. Increasing access to Narcan is a critical component in battling the opioid epidemic, especially in rural areas or counties with limited access to health care. Providing these kits through county health departments will increase support to individuals across the state dealing with substance use disorder and help prevent overdose deaths in Florida.
Naloxone kits are free, and no appointment is necessary. People using Naloxone will receive educational material, referrals, and connections for substance abuse intervention.
In order to get a free Narcan Nasal Spray kit from DOH-St. Lucie County you must meet the following eligibility requirements:
• Must be 18 years old or older
• Individuals at risk of experiencing an opioid overdose
• Caregivers who may witness an opioid overdose or others likely to experience or witness an opioid overdose.
The kits are available Monday thru Friday, 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m., at the following DOH-St. Lucie County locations:
• 5150 NW Milner Drive, Port St. Lucie, FL 34983
• 3855 South US 1, Fort Pierce, FL 34982
The Florida Department of Health is working with the Florida Department of Children and Families through the Overdose Prevention Program, or iSaveFL, which is facilitating the distribution of Narcan kits to families, friends, and caregivers of those at risk for an opioid overdose. The iSaveFL website provides information on finding Narcan in your community and resources on treatment, overdose education, and prevention.
This effort complements the Florida Department of Health’s HEROS (Helping Emergency Responders Obtain Support) program that provides free Narcan to emergency response agencies.
A public health and safety alert was issued by the Florida Department of Health on July 8, to ensure Floridians remain vigilant of the signs of overdose. Anyone can access print and digital educational materials to help Floridians identify symptoms of an overdose here. The public health and safety alert is here.
For questions regarding potential overdoses and other drug-related exposures, Florida’s Poison Control Centers are a valuable resource to individuals throughout Florida, including emergency personnel. Poison Control Centers are staffed by health care professionals that are specifically trained to treat drug overdoses or assess patients exposed to drugs of abuse. Medical toxicologists are available 24/7 for physician consultations.
For poisoning questions or emergencies, call 1-800-222-1222. Visit the website at floridapoisoncontrol.org.https://floridapoisoncontrol.org
To learn more about DOH-St. Lucie programs, visit http://stlucie.floridahealth.gov/index.html.