A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Bevin, Aetna announce partnership to provide first responders in Eastern Kentucky with Narcan

First responders in eastern Kentucky will receive a fresh supply of Narcan to help prevent deaths from drug overdoses.

Gov. Matt Bevin joined with executives from Aetna and local officials in Hazard to announce a partnership that will provide 360 doses of the medication, a crucial drug for saving lives.

Drug overdose deaths in Kentucky have skyrocketed in recent years, and sometimes simply by coming into contact with the powerful opiates.

Narcan is an opiate antidote. Opioids include heroin and prescription pain pills like morphine, codeine, oxycodone, methadone and Vicodin.

A Boyd County sheriff’s deputy had to be administered Narcan after being exposed to an opiate in powder form, during an investigation in the parking lot of a store in Cannonsburg.

Bevin said more than 1,400 Kentuckians died last year due to opioid overdoses. If not for heavy doses of Narcan, authorities believe the death toll would have been far greater.

A new law passed by the 2017 General Assembly limits opioid prescriptions to a three-day supply and increases penalties for trafficking convictions involving Fentanyl and Carfentanil, which can appear in heroin and marijuana.

“These are drugs that can tranquilize an elephant,” Bevin said earlier this year.

From Kentucky Today

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