Medicine to reverse drug overdoses and training on how to use it was offered Wednesday at an event in New Haven.
In the New Haven Free Public Library, a small group of local residents came to listen and learn as George Bucheli from the New Haven Health Department, passed out naloxone kits.
“Each kit will come with two doses, gloves, alcohol, [and] the atomizer," he said.
Bucheli warned about new synthetic opioids that are even stronger than fentanyl. which caused a rash of overdoses in the city in June, leaving three people dead and at least ten hospitalized. Bucheli said the stronger synthetic opioids have, in some cases, required multiple doses of naloxone.
Kim Caron, from Northford, was inspired to get a kit because she’s close to someone who’s currently struggling with addiction.
"You never know when someone’s going to hit their rock bottom and want to change -- if they’re dead from an overdose, they can’t do that," she said. "If I can give someone a second chance at life and to turn themselves around, then I’d like to be able to provide that."
Most of the people attending the event were community health workers from various programs. They were not only there to pass out naloxone, but to educate the public about resources, programs, and services including the ability to access naloxone through a pharmacist. In fact, Governor Dannel Malloy just announced a new interactive online map giving consumers the ability to locate pharmacies across the state where pharmacists are certified to prescribe naloxone, marketed as Narcan.
The Connecticut Department of Public Health has distributed more than 9,000 overdose prevention kits since 2014.
WNPR's Opioid Addiction Crisis Reporting Initiative is supported by Hartford HealthCare Behavioral Health Network's MATCH Program.