WYOMING, Mich. — Metro Health –University of Michigan Health plans to give away free doses of Narcan to discharged patients. The potentially life saving drug is given to those who accidentally or intentionally experience an opioid overdose.
The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention states more than 33,000 people died because of opioids in 2015. The Center also reports that nearly half of all opioid overdose deaths involve a prescription opioid. In 2015, Metro Health treated 285 drug overdoses with 190 of those being actual or potentially opioid related, according to a statement from the hospital.
“Opioid use is on the rise, and so are overdoses,” said Dr. Marc Afman. “Overdoses can be accidental or intentional. We also know that if a person has one overdose, they are far more likely to have a second, and that one could be fatal. An overdose can happen to anyone. By distributing these kits, we are helping to save lives by providing education, community resources and Narcan; an antidote (reversal) for opioids.”
The drug will come in a form of a nasal spray.
The hospital’s goals for distributing these kits include:
· eliminating the need for the patient to travel to a pharmacy to fill a prescription for Narcan
· removing any financial barriers that would prohibit a patient from obtaining a kit at a pharmacy
· educating the patient and caregivers regarding appropriate use
· reducing the amount of deaths in the community related to opiate overdoses
“At Metro, we want to be clear about one thing: we do not encourage the improper use of opioid drugs; rather, we recognize that Narcan used immediately by family and friends could save the life of someone they hold dear,” said Pete Haverkamp RPh. “We recognize that not all overdose victims are using illegal drugs, and whatever the cause of the overdose, we want to provide life-saving tools to those who may need it the most.”
Each kit of Narcan will come with two doses. Detailed instructions in English, Bosnian and Spanish will also be provided.