To combat the growing epidemic of opioid use and overdose fatalities, GLFHC partnered with the Andover Police Department in September to hold an opioid overdose awareness session and Narcan use training. Over 20 people attended the session to learn about opioid abuse and how to use Narcan to stop an overdose. Narcan (naloxone) is available as a nasal spray that, when administered to someone overdosing, can reverse the effects of the opioid. Its use has been life-saving in many cases recently, and most police, fire, and emergency services departments are now outfitting their vehicles with doses. So far this year, the Andover Police Department has saved 12 lives by administering Narcan. The Health Center is committed to preventing overdose fatalities through the use of Narcan; therefore, GLFHC, which has (4) four retail pharmacies located in the four quadrants of Lawrence, now carries nalaxone doses in all of its pharmacies. Through a physician’s standing order, the GLFHC pharmacies can offer “Narcan Rescue Kits” to friends, family members, or overdosing individuals.
As legislation and awareness around this serious addiction emerges, GLFHC is dedicated to helping patients through both prevention education and overdose prevention. There are many places where family members and friends can dispose of narcotics or medications left over from a medical procedure and no longer needed. Prevention also includes limiting access, so GLFHC encourages the disposal of unused medications. Many communities have drug take-back boxes, and leftover medications can often be disposed of at local police stations, to limit access to those vulnerable to addiction.