According to the CDC, 75% of the nearly 92,000 drug overdose deaths in the United States in 2020 involved an opioid. Thankfully, opioid overdoses deaths can be prevented with the use of naloxone. Naloxone, also commonly called Narcan, is an emergency response medication used for the treatment of an opioid overdose. Individuals known to be at risk of experiencing or witnessing an overdose should have direct access to naloxone. Naloxone reverses the effects of an opioid overdose until emergency services can arrive.
Locally, in 2020, there were 15 fatal opioid overdoses (25.7 per 100,000). “For the last several years, Genesee County’s opioid overdose death rates have surpassed the state’s average as a whole, as well as excluding New York City averages,” stated Paul Pettit, Public Health Director for the Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments (GO Health). “Unfortunately, this public health crisis is continuing in our community and in an effort to increase access to naloxone to save lives, the Health Department is providing Naloxone Boxes for free to interested business and organizations to install at their location(s),” Pettit explained.
What is a Naloxone Box? It is a metal box that contains two doses of Narcan nasal spray. These boxes are intended to increase access to Naloxone at the time of a life-threatening emergency. They can be placed in a high-traffic area at your business/organization or alongside an AED, as both provide a life-saving resource and instructions for use.
“Currently, 8 Naloxone Boxes have been installed which are all located within the City of Batavia. This is a great start but having these boxes at many locations, including every village and town, is the goal. We want to help save lives because the possibility for recovery is lost if the person is no longer with us. That is why I am calling for businesses and organizations to act and get involved by installing a box,” said Pettit.
If you are a business or organization located in Genesee County and are interested in receiving more information about having a Naloxone Box(es) at your location, contact: Kaitlin.Pettine@co.genesee.ny.us. To complete the Naloxone Box Application, visit https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/NaloxboxSiteApplication.
For information about Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments, visit GOHealthNY.org. You can also visit GO Health on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram by searching @GOHealthNY.