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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) –Drug overdose in broad daylight have become all too common. At that moment, the best life-saving technique is a drug to counter the effects of the opioid.
Up until Thursday, the only time you would see Narcan is with a paramedic or emergency responder. But Thursday, in locations all across the state, you could pick up Narcan for free – no questions asked.
Beverly Lancaster believes the giveaway is a good idea.
“About a year ago, my grandson overdosed and his neighbor had Narcan,” she said.
Across the state, more than 5,000 doses of Narcan were passed out free of charge. It was a project of the Pennsylvania Health Department. The reasons people came out were all different.
Andy Daniele got some as a precaution.
“I have teen age grandson, and pre-teen granddaughters and they come over our house a lot and I don’t think there’s anything going on but I want to be prepared just in case,” he said.
Tim Phillips of Westmoreland County’s Drug Overdose Task Force believes Narcan is only the first step in address the epidemic.
The Narcan passed out contained two doses – which are sometimes necessary to reverse the effects of the overdose. Instructions came with the drug, and there was even a video to explain how to administer the drug.
Advocates of the program say the giveaway is right on time – at the start of the holiday season.
Not everyone thought the handout was a good idea.
Tiaira Rudy feels like if her family has to pay for their own meds, everyone else should too.
“I have a husband who’s diabetic. I have kids who have allergies. I have kids who have mental issues. We got to pay for what we take or what they have to take,” she said.
The @GovernorTomWolf Administration will provide naloxone for FREE to any Pa’ian at nearly 80 locations across PA on December 13 as part of the admin’s ongoing effort to reduce number of opioid overdoses + get people into treatment. Find a location → https://t.co/MFCS4ybHdG pic.twitter.com/hiSnfj2OSz
— PA Department of Health (@PAHealthDept) December 6, 2018
There were a number of locations in western Pennsylvania that distributed naloxone, including the Allegheny County Health Department.
- Allegheny County Health Department Immunization Clinic, Hartley Rose Building – 425 First Ave., 4th Floor, Pittsburgh, PA 15219 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Allegheny County Health Department Pharmacy – 425 First Ave., Fourth Floor, Pittsburgh, PA 15219
- Duquesne University Pharmacy – 1860 Centre Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15219
- Millvale Community Center – 501 Lincoln Ave. Pittsburgh, PA 15209
- Turtle Creek Fire Department – 125 Monroeville Ave., Turtle Creek, PA 15145
- Armstrong County State Health Center – 245 Butler Rd., Suite 1, Kittanning, PA 16201
- Beaver County State Health Center – 500 Water Street, Suite 104, Bridgewater, PA 15009
- Butler County State Health Center – 100 Brugh Ave., Suite 201, Butler, PA 16001
- Fayette County State Health Center – 100 New Salem Rd., Suite 102, Uniontown, PA 15401
- Greene County State Health Center – 101 Greene Plaza, Waynesburg, PA 15370
- Indiana County State Health Center – 75 N. 2nd St., Indiana, PA 15701
- Lawrence County State Health Center – 106 Margaret St., New Castle, PA 16101
- Mercer County State Health Center – 25 McQuiston Dr., Jackson Center, PA 16133
- Washington County State Health Center – 67 N. Main St., Suite 100, Washington, PA 15301
- Westmoreland County State Health Center – 233 W. Otterman St., Greensburg, PA 15601
- Monessen State Health Center – 1 Wendell Ramey Ln., Suite 140, Monessen, PA 15062
The drug is also regularly available at most pharmacies in Pennsylvania, at little or no cost for those with insurance.
It can reverse overdoses by blocking opioids’ effect on the brain and respiratory system.
The Wolf administration says over the past four years more than 20,000 people in Pennsylvania have been revived by police and emergency medical services responders using naloxone.