State Provides More Naloxone to 10 Community Health Centers

HYANNIS –The state has announced that it is providing $100,000 in naloxone, also known by its brand name Narcan, to 10 community health centers as part of increasing public awareness about the important role of the overdose reversal drug in saving lives.

“The opioid crisis has broken many families across the Commonwealth and our administration remains committed to providing resources to our communities to curb this public health epidemic,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Expanding access to Narcan for health care workers on the front lines of this epidemic is a valuable tool and we are pleased to award these grants to strengthen services at community health centers in Massachusetts.”

The 10 community health centers were selected because of their involvement in the GE Foundation’s SUSTAIN (Substance Use Support & Technical Assistance in Communities) initiative that support efforts to prevent and treat substance use disorders in local communities.

Community Health Center of Cape Cod is among the 10 centers selected by the state.

They will receive 260 doses of naloxone available to patients through their pharmacies or through their primary care providers.

“The more people who administer naloxone the better our chances of reducing the magnitude and severity of harm related to opioid overdose deaths,’’ said Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders. “By making naloxone as widely available as possible, we can save more lives and provide opportunities for treatment and recovery.’’

Last year, Massachusetts Department of Public Health reported more than 2,800 bystander overdose reversals using naloxone.

More than 13,000 people were trained and provided naloxone in 2016, pushing the total number of people trained statewide to more than 56,000.

DPH’s Bureau of Substance Abuse Services, whose naloxone budget was $2.8 million in Fiscal Year 2017, has provided naloxone grants to 32 high-need communities.

Since the Commonwealth launched the Municipal Naloxone Bulk Purchasing Program, 140 cities and towns have purchased more than 12,000 doses of naloxone at a significant discount.

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