National Overdose Awareness Day: Over 160,000 Narcan doses have been distributed by ODMHSAS in 2023
The Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services has provided 82,368 NARCAN kits since January 2023. That is 164,736 doses. August 31 marks National Overdose Awareness Day and ODMHSAS depends on the community and law enforcement to save lives across Oklahoma.
Oklahoma City Police and Oklahoma City Fire have used Narcan at least 386 times since January 2023. Since 2018, ODMHSAS has provided both groups 7,910 doses of Narcan.
ODMHSAS partner Shred the Stigma reports 839 opioid overdose reversals in 2023 alone in the OKC metro.
ODMHSAS partner The Oklahoma Harm Reduction Alliance (OKHRA) has over 450 reported overdose reversals.
Tulsa Police have received 1,176 doses since 2018.
Lawton Police have received 96 doses since 2018.
Ardmore Police have received 48 doses since 2018.
“90 percent of people who receive evidence-based treatment do get better,” said ODMHSAS Commissioner Carrie-Slatton Hodges. “We have to help Oklahomans who are struggling because accidental overdose, for those 18 – 50, is now the leading cause of death for those in our county.”
Oklahoma Highway Patrol received 1,104 kits over the past two years, 2,208 doses. In March 2023, two troopers received awards for using Narcan to save individuals who had overdosed.
Trooper Preston Davis used Narcan to save a man in a vehicle pulled over on the side of I-40. A female in the vehicle was screaming for help. Trooper Davis administered two doses of Narcan and performed chest compressions. The man regained consciousness and was alert and talking.
Trooper Tyler Langston saved a woman who overdosed in her home in Kay County by administering two doses of Narcan.
“When you think of troopers, you probably think of saving and protecting lives on highways. But Narcan is just another tool we can use because overdoses happen anywhere, anytime. We’re proud of our troopers’ quick thinking and actions to save the lives of these citizens dependent on the aid of first responders,” said OHP Chief, Colonel Patrick F. Mays.
Opioid overdoses continue to rise in Oklahoma, with most fatal overdoses resulting from Fentanyl. According to the Oklahoma State Department of Health, there are nearly 1,000 accidental overdose deaths related to opioids every year.
“Fentanyl is poison”, Oklahoma County Sheriff Tommie Johnson III said, “We’ve had cases where deputies administer life-saving Narcan. It works almost immediately, and it’s so simple to use anyone can do it. This effort will save lives.”
80 percent of overdoses happen at home. ODMHSAS urges families and individuals to keep Naloxone in their medicine cabinet. Stored correctly, Naloxone expires after three years and just like bandages, aspirin or an inhaler, you have ahead of a crisis or emergency.
“These deaths are preventable,” said Commissioner Carrie Slatton Hodges. “On this National Overdose Awareness Day, we are asking everyone to order Naloxone, also known as brand-name Narcan from okimready.org. You could save someone's life.”
In the event of an emergency, you cannot use Naloxone on yourself. Meaning, you can save the life of someone you love.
For more information or instructions on how to use Naloxone, visit: https://okimready.org/
If you or someone you know needs help, please call or text the 988 Mental Health Lifeline. Trained behavioral health experts will answer in about 10 seconds and can help with: substance use, thoughts of self-harm or suicide, depression, anxiety and also to help find a healthcare provider near you.
Sr. Director of Public Relations