During last Thursday’s statewide naloxone distribution event, close to 50o doses were given away in Bucks County.
Bucks County gave out the third largest amount of the lifesaving opioid overdose antidote in the state with 472 provided to residents at no cost. Philadelphia and Allegheny County were the only two counties to give out more doses, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Health.
Across the 67 counties, 6,105 naloxone kits were distributed, the data showed.
During an opioid overdose, the victim’s brain is slowly starved of oxygen, causing damage to the body and eventually pushing the person closer to death. Naloxone blocks the impacts of opioids if administered, often by bystanders or arriving emergency responders.
“It is essential for people to have the lifesaving medication naloxone on hand,” Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said. “We are excited that Pennsylvanians are stepping up to help save lives. After the success of this event, we will work to determine if this can be done more frequently.”
Bucks County has been among the hardest hit by the opioid epidemic. In 2017, there were around 200 overdose deaths in the county. The majority of the deaths happened in the area with the largest population, Lower Bucks County.
The giveaway happened at the Southern Bucks Recovery Community Center in Bristol Township, Bucks County Drug and Alcohol Commission in Warminster, and in Quakertown Branch of the Bucks County Free Library.
State officials said a standing order has allowed pharmacies to sell naloxone.
“This medication reverses the effects of an opioid overdose and gives the patient a chance at recovery,” Levine said.