To help combat the rise in opioid overdoses in the state, Gov. Wolf's administration has launched Stop Overdoses in PA: Get Help Now Week. On Thu., Dec. 13, the overdose-reversing drug naloxone will be offered for free at 80 locations statewide.
Found primarily at state health centers and county health departments, any Pennsylvanian who wants to can pick up the medication from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. No appointment is necessary.
“Naloxone has one function: to reverse the effects of opioids on the brain and respiratory system and save someone’s life,” Pa. Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said in a news release Thursday. “It is impossible to get someone into treatment who is dead. Every Pennsylvanian has a role to play as a potential first responder and can save a life by having naloxone on hand and using it if they come across someone who has overdosed.”
Levine issued a standing order prescription for naloxone in April that allows any Pa. resident to obtain the medication without the signature of a medical professional.
Naloxone is administered nasally, and the Department of Health recommends taking an online training program on how to effectively administer the medication to someone overdosing on opioids.
After finishing the training, the department gives participants a certificate of completion. While the online program isn’t necessary to get the medication, the Department of Health strongly advises naloxone-carrying individuals to take the training to protect themselves from legal liability.
More than 20,000 people have been revived with the overdose-reversing medication by police officers and EMS providers in Pennsylvania since Nov. 2014. Increasing access to naloxone is part of the Wolf administration’s effort to reduce the number of opioid overdoses.
In Allegheny County, naloxone will be available at the following locations:
- Allegheny County Health Department Immunization Clinic,
Building – 425 First Ave., 4th Floor, Pittsburgh, 15219 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Hartley Rose
- Duquesne University Pharmacy – 1860 Centre Ave., Pittsburgh, 15219
- Focus on Renewal Community Resource Center - 420 Chartiers Ave., McKees Rocks, 15136
- Millvale Community Center – 501 Lincoln Ave. Pittsburgh, 5209
- St. Peter's Episcopal Church - 4048 Brownsville Rd. Pittsburgh, 15227
- St. Stephen's Episcopal Church - 220 8th St., McKeesport, 15132
- Turtle Creek Fire Department – 125 Monroeville Ave., Turtle Creek, 15145