On July 2, the North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition (NCHRC), a statewide nonprofit dedicated to reducing drug overdose deaths, received a report of its 100th drug overdose reversal using the opioid antagonist, naloxone.
Since Aug. 1, 2013, NCHRC has distributed more than 2,648 overdose prevention kits containing naloxone and administration supplies to people at risk for drug overdose and their loved ones. Naloxone is a medication that reverses overdose from opioids such as heroin, methadone and prescription painkillers. Opioids are responsible for the majority of deaths from drug overdose in North Carolina each year.
Thanks to a new law passed in April 2013, the 911 Good Samaritan/Naloxone Access law, naloxone can now be distributed to the general public via standing orders from a medical provider. People at the scene of an overdose can use the kit to save the life of a friend or family member. Many law enforcement and fire departments are also looking into launching programs to equip first responders with naloxone. Deputies of the Pitt County Sheriff’s Office began carrying naloxone in May 2014.