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Delaware health officials scheduling more Narcan handout events

James Morrison
Delaware Public Media

Delaware’s Division of Public Health is scheduling more public events this month to hand out free doses of Narcan, the antidote for opioid overdoses.

Last weekend state health officials handed out about 400 doses of free Narcan, or Naloxone, at atTAcK Addiction’s annual 5k in New Castle and gave out instructions on how to use the lifesaving medication.

Public Health Director Dr. Karyl Rattay is pleading with all Delawareans who know someone in active recovery to attend the upcoming training events.

“We know that relapse is very common with addiction and so please consider the possibility that there may be a time when you wish you had Naloxone on hand, and please take advantage of one of these training opportunities,” said Rattay.

This Saturday the state holds an event at the Delaware Tech Owens Campus in Georgetown from 10 am until 2 pm and another event is scheduled at Del Tech’s Terry Campus in Dover on March 20th. A fourth Narcan handout is planned later this month for the Wilmington area with details forthcoming.

Rattay says the upcoming results of a state-funded study on 2017 overdose deaths will help to determine how DPH can target specific populations when distributing Narcan in the future.

“So for example, whether it’s certain professions where individuals who work in those professions are more likely to pass away, certain age groups, certain geographic areas,” she said.

The state is spending $200,000 this year on Narcan—half being distributed at public handouts and half going to first responders. Rattay says the Department of Health and Social Services is seeking another $200,000 for Narcan in the FY 2020 budget.

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