Aetna donates 720 Narcan doses to help first responders resuscitate opioid overdose victims

08/23/2017 03:17 PM

BURLINGTON – First responders in northern and eastern Kentucky will have some extra help in fighting the opioid epidemic thanks to a partnership with Aetna which has donated 720 doses of Narcan to emergency personnel in the northern Kentucky and Appalachia regions to help prevent opioid overdose-related deaths.

Aetna Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Hal Paz, says that his company’s all in in helping first responders who encounter overdose cases to save as many lives as possible.

“Providing Narcan kits to those on the front lines of this epidemic can save lives as grant those affected the opportunity to receive the long-term treatment and support that thy need,” Paz said.

Dr. Lynne Saddler, District Director of Health for the Northern Kentucky Health Department, believes that the opportunity to save lives is something that should be embraced by all emergency personnel as well as the general public.

“Saving a life is a tremendous return on investment, and northern Kentucky’s heroin response, one of our goals is to get people with substance abuse disorder back on track, and back on a path to recovery,” Saddler said.

Gov. Matt Bevin says the time is now to save lives and get people the treatment that they need in an effort to turn their lives around.

“This isn’t something that we have the luxury of ignoring,” Bevin said. “The pharma dynamic of an opioid is so different that almost any other drug that anybody has ever death with. The ability of a person to pull themselves up and save themselves from an addiction is almost zero percent.”

Bevin suggested two things that everybody, from law enforcement, first responders, medical personnel, and the general public must do to effectively address opioid addiction and recovery.

“Start talking about this and being a lot more open about it, being very specifically about it, understanding how to respond to somebody, and how one gets access to the ability to respond, and then what we do with people once a life has been saved.

St. Elizabeth Medical Center estimates that they’ve encountered over 1,300 opioid overdose patients in northern Kentucky thus far in 2017.


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