(WASHINGTON, DC) – Residents can text LiveLongDC to 888-811 to get information on where they can access free naloxone kits across the District. Opioid-related overdose deaths are preventable. Naloxone is an easy to administer nasal spray. It works quickly, is painless, and is a pre-measured dose to reduce medication dosing errors. It temporarily blocks the effect of opioids and helps a person experiencing an overdose start breathing again.
Widespread distribution of naloxone is a key strategy in the District’s plan to combat the opioid epidemic as the number of opioid-related deaths continues to rise after a drop in 2018. DBH deploys outreach teams to areas with spikes in overdoses in the prior 24 hours to distribute naloxone and connect opioid users to treatment. Overdose survivors who seek medical care can start treatment in the emergency departments of four community hospitals.
“Naloxone should be near at hand like any lifesaving medication. Family, friends, or others in the community can use naloxone to save someone who is overdosing. Keeping alive people who face drug addiction also keeps alive the hope and chance for treatment and recovery from this chronic illness.” said Barbara J. Bazron, Director of the Department of Behavioral Health. The DBH public system treated more than 5,100 residents last year through detoxification, medication assisted treatment, counseling and residential treatment centers.
The District has distributed thousands of naloxone kits through Fire and Emergency Medical Services (FEMS), MPD, outreach workers, faith leaders, and pharmacies and community organizations in partnership with DC Health.
The DC Department of Behavioral Health offers a full range of prevention, treatment, and recovery services. Call the 24 hour Access Helpline at 1-(888)-793-4357 (7WE-HELP) to enroll or get more information.