MDHHS and EMS partner to save lives in honor of International Overdose Awareness Day

Opioid overdoses
Opioid overdoses(Source: WBRC/Live 5/File)
Published: Aug. 31, 2020 at 4:13 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is partnering is Emergency Medical Services throughout the state to try and decrease the amount of deaths associated with opioid overdose.

They are rolling out the “Naloxone Leave Behind” program where EMS will leave a Naloxone kit behind after assisting with drug overdose calls.

Naloxone is an opioid reversal drug which can save the life of a person who has overdosed on opioids.

The kit will consist of a Naloxone nasal spray which will be easy to use.

According to Senior Advisor for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Andrea Taverna, opioids have been the cause of thousands of deaths for Michiganders.

“In 2018 just under 2,600 people in Michigan died of overdoses. Of those 2,036 were opioid overdoses,” said Taverna.

Taverna explained within the last five years about 8,000 people died of drug overdose in Michigan.

Taverna also said removing the stigma will also help decrease the number of deaths from overdose.

“Part of what the department is trying to do when we talk about overdose awareness is help people understand how common this is in communities. Also, help people understand that substance abuse is a medical challenge and brain chemistry disease. There are a lot of steps you can take and a lot of resources that are available,” she said.

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