State Grants Will Help Local Towns Buy Anti-Overdose Drug 

Narcan training is available at the Yarmouth Police Department.

HYANNIS – Forty Massachusetts communities are receiving state funds to help stockpile supplies of a drug that can counter opioid overdoses.

Gov. Charlie Baker announced the $700,000 in grants Wednesday that will go to many of the state’s larger cities, along with smaller communities that have averaged four or more opioid overdose deaths in recent years.

Barnstable, Falmouth, Plymouth and Wareham will all get a share of the money

Police and fire departments can use the funding to purchase naloxone, also known by the brand name Narcan, which if administered promptly can reverse the effects of an overdose.

The state last year created a bulk purchasing fund to help make it cheaper for municipalities to access Narcan.

“This grant will help save more lives as our administration continues to pursue new and wide-ranging tools to combat the opioid epidemic, including the ability for medical personnel to intervene with those who have overdosed,” said Baker.

“We look forward to continuing to work with the legislature to pass meaningful reforms, and are pleased to support our first responders’ access to immediate, life-saving resources.”

Last year as part of comprehensive recommendations from the Governor’s opioid working group, the administration established a bulk purchasing fund allowing first responders in municipal entities to access the state rate for naloxone purchases, and when available, receive an additional discount.

“Today’s announcement, along with the creation of the bulk purchasing fund, will increase the amount of naloxone available in hot-spot communities where it is needed most,” said Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito. “These resources will help ease the costs of medication, enabling our firefighters and police officers to save more lives.”

Massachusetts recorded at least 1,089 overdose deaths in 2014. Full-year statistics for 2015 aren’t yet available.

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