UFA to pass out life-saving overdose kits to public

Photo of naloxone, which rapidly reverses the effects of heroin and other opioids. The opioid overdose antidote, has become a vital tool in fighting the heroin and opioid epidemic.

SALT LAKE CITY – In an attempt to save more lives of individuals suffering from opioid and other drug overdoses, Unified Fire Authority (UFA) recently received hundreds of potentially lifesaving  kits. The “overdose kits” were given by a non-profit organization, Utah Naloxone, and were being distributed by UFA to at-risk households and individuals.

The kits include the drug Naloxone, (Narcan) which can reverse the effects of an opiate overdose. The kits included directions for use, and information for individuals who may wish to seek treatment for addiction. Literature was also provided in the kits on how to prevent the spread of infectious diseases, such as hepatitis C and HIV, which have higher rates in individuals who intravenously use drugs.

Kits were being distributed by seven UFA fire stations, in areas that have high statistics for overdoses. Respondents also left kits with the family, friends or parents of individuals who have had overdoses in the past.

According to UFA, the goal of passing out the kits was to help prevent overdose deaths, by giving family and friends the opportunity to administer life-saving Naloxone before first respondents arrive. In overdoses, time is often of the essence, and the faster reversible drugs can be administered, the more likely an individual is to survive an overdose.

Here are some additional facts about overdose deaths in Utah:

  • The rate of overdose deaths exceeds that of motor vehicle collisions and firearms combined.
  • Utah has greater than one fatal overdose per day on average.
  • Utah is 7th in the nation for overdose deaths, and 1st for Veteran overdose deaths.
  • Utah has ay high number of pediatric overdoses, due to prescription narcotics left unsecured.
  • Utah has a higher than average rate of prescription drug-related overdoses, verses illegal narcotic-related deaths.

Utah Naloxone is a non-profit organization, with a goal to help prevent overdoses by educating the public, and making more overdose kits available for use.

File: Narcan nasal spray.

For more information about Utah Naloxone please visit www.utahnaloxone.org.