In 2015, we were awarded a two-year grant through the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) to purchase opiate antagonists and educate and train emergency medical services persons in the use of these antagonists in the event of an opioid or heroin overdose. We then partnered with state, regional and local subject matter experts to create an “Opioid Overdose Kit.” These kits were distributed to a variety of services and agencies throughout Northeast Minnesota in an effort to provide first responders with a tool to reverse an opioid overdose and give them a better chance to save the patient.
Well received by those able to take advantage of the grant opportunity, many agencies have already documented a number of saves — some have even received press attention:
- Duluth police credit newly acquired Narcan kits with saving woman’s life
- Moose Lake PD has Narcan kits
- Deputies add overdose reverse drug to squads
We are looking forward to partnering on future opioid overdose prevention projects with the MDH.