Evzio overdose kits in high demand in Delaware
Last summer, Delaware received a large donation of Evzio, an auto-injection device that contains the overdose-saving drug naloxone. The supply came from Evzio’s developer, Kaléo, a company based in Richmond,Virginia.
Out of the 2,000 doses the state received, 1,600 went to Brandywine Counseling.
“And they’re all gone," said Domenica Personti, director of adolescent services and prevention at Brandywine Counseling. She estimates they ran out about three weeks ago. The supply was supposed to expire by February.
When Brandywine Counseling started training people to use naloxone kits, Personti said that initial reception to the program was slow, but community interest in training has picked up over time.
“At this point, we have, at bare minimum, one person coming in a day to one of our programs asking to be trained," said Personti.
She added the demand for kits really speaks to how much the community perceives the need for them in case there’s an emergency. Many of the kits were taken by active drug users, which is what the organization was hoping for.
“It’s a population that we wanted to get out to because 87 percent of overdoses are reported by another drug user," Personti said.
Brandywine Counseling’s efforts to train more people to use overdose kits has focused on high-risk areas, including Newark. The Newark Police Department, which received 10 Evzio kits, began using them in October. Since then, Lieutenant Bill Hargrove says they’ve managed to save five people.
“I can definitely say we’re committed to [the program],” he said.
Brandywine Counseling is working on getting another supply of Evzio. But in the meantime, the organization has fallen back on dispersing Narcon, the intranasal spray.
The Division of Forensic Science says that through July 2015, 110 people in Delaware died last year due to a drug overdose. In 2014, there were 189 deaths from suspected drug overdoses in Delaware, according to the CDC.