By Anastasia Weckerly
The Montgomery County Health Department is making getting opioid treatment easier for people by making NARCAN Nasal Spray kits available at 3 health centers.
Due to a partnership between the Montgomery County Health Department (MCHD) and Montgomery County Office of Drug and Alcohol Programs, kits are available at the Norristown Health Center, the Pottstown Health Center, and the Willow Grove Health Center.
According to police, officers in 26 of 49 Montco police departments currently carrying Naloxone while on duty. Since officers began carrying the overdose drug in 2015, 41 saves have been reported across the county.
The kits will be available to people at risk of experiencing an opiate-related overdose or to a family member, friend, or other person in a position to assist someone who is at risk.
Officials say the kits are available to residents without insurance and even to those who cannot afford copays.
MCHD reported that a 2015 report ranked Pennsylvania ninth in the country in drug overdose deaths and Montgomery county saw a 72% spike in opiate-related deaths, with just over half attributed to heroin.
"By making Naloxone available at the three Montgomery County Health Centers located throughout the county at no cost to those who could otherwise not afford it, MCHD is taking a major step in ensuring Naloxone is accessible to everyone," Dr. Val Arkoosh, Vice Chair of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners and Interim Medical Director for the Monthomery County Department of Health said in a statement.
More information on overdose prevention, a list of participating pharmacies in Montgomery County, and drug take back locations can be found here.