Florida marks Overdose Awareness Day, ships naloxone to some county health departments

All 67 counties to be part of initiative’s ‘next phase’

A box of the overdose antidote Naloxone Hydrochloride sits on a counter at a Walgreens store on February 2, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida Department of Health announced a new opioid recovery initiative in observance of International Overdose Awareness Day, sending hundreds of naloxone kits to the health departments of 16 mostly northern counties.

According to a news release published Thursday, FDOH distributed 1,500 naloxone kits among health departments in Baker, Bradford, Union, Franklin, Gulf, Gadsden, Gilcrest, Levy, Glades, Hendry, Hamilton, Hardee, Jefferson, Madison, Lafayette and Suwanee counties. The next phase of the initiative will reach all 67 Florida counties, the release states.

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Naloxone can be used as an emergency treatment of an opioid overdose by blocking the drugs’ effect on the brain, often restoring breathing and consciousness within minutes, according to Mayo Clinic. The treatment is most commonly administered via injection or nasal routes and is distributed in part under the U.S. brand names Evzio and Narcan.

iSaveFL, an overdose prevention program from the collaboration of FDOH and the Florida Department of Children and Families, has a website with resources that can help people find naloxone.

[RELATED: Central Florida community observes International Overdose Awareness Day]

One would commonly need a prescription to obtain naloxone at a pharmacy, though iSaveFL clarifies some Floridian pharmacies operate under non-patient specific standing orders which allow them to sell it over the counter without a prescription. The organization recommended you call any given pharmacy to make sure of that.

The initiative is part of the state’s collective response to the “overdose crisis,” the release states. Another factor of the statewide response is the Coordinated Opioid Recovery program, or CORE, which launched in early August and is designed to break the cycle of addiction by providing ongoing treatment to those at risk of relapse, according to Gov. Ron DeSantis’ comments at the time.

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About the Author:

Brandon, a UCF grad, joined the ClickOrlando team in November 2021. Before joining News 6, Brandon worked at WDBO.