The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) Bureau of Substance Abuse, the Iowa State Sheriffs’ and Deputies’ Association (ISSDA) and the Iowa Police Chiefs Association (IPCA) are sponsoring a new initiative that could help to reduce the number of deaths caused by opioids. The untitled program will provide one free Narcan naloxone kit to every law enforcement officer who is interested in carrying one. Narcan is administered through a victim’s nostril and binds to opioid receptors, reversing the effects of an overdose. “Opioid overdose prevention and response is a public health issue that state health departments across the country are addressing,” says IDPH Opioid Treatment Program Director, Kevin Gabbert. “Our efforts to prevent opioid-related deaths include a statewide Naloxone Standing Order that makes the medication available without a prescription; providing free naloxone kits to Iowans as part of Narcan Access Day; and training over 100 stakeholders from across the state to be trainers on recognizing and responding to an opioid overdose.” The department indicates these efforts appear to be working. Preliminary data shows opioid-related deaths have decreased by about 33% since 2017. Any Iowa law enforcement agency may request the kits using the contact points included with this story on our website.
Iowa Department of Public Health