HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – The fight against the opioid crisis continues with the launch of the Get Help Now initiative created by the Pennsylvania Department of Health.
Gov. Tom Wolf declared an opioid crisis in Pennsylvania about a year and a half ago. Since then, the Health Department has taken the opportunity to push naloxone into the hands of the public, the friends and families of those impacted by substance use disorder.
About 7,000 naloxone kits were distributed in December. This week, the department plans to give out 10,000 kits.
“For this particular series, we’ll have two different naloxone days, one on the September 18th and September 25th,” said
Anyone can pick up a kit at state health centers, county and municipal health departments and even some academic institutions.
“Everyone can be a first responder, especially in regards to naloxone and that’s what we want to do, we want to get as much naloxone out there as possible,” Deputy Health Secretary Raphael Barishansky said.
Instructions are printed on the box but a short video will also be shown.
According to the Health Department, between 2017 and 2018, Pennsylvania saw an 18 percent decrease in overdose deaths thanks to the state’s distribution of naloxone to the public.
“This is our communities, our families or neighbors and our loved ones,” Barishansky said. “Get the naloxone, even if you watch the video and never end up using it, get it. You never know what is going to happen.”