Press Release: State Provides Hospital Emergency Departments with Naloxone
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 13, 2019
Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services
Contact: Diana Shaw
(860) 418-6967 (office)
(860) 558-0024 (cell)
Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection
Contact: Lora Rae Anderson
(860) 713-6019 (office)
(860) 247-8711 (cell)
Hartford, CT – The Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS), with assistance from the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) and Connecticut Hospital Association, announced today that all hospital emergency departments (ED) in Connecticut now have naloxone available for distribution to patients and loved ones upon discharge through a federal grant. Naloxone, commonly known by the brand name Narcan, is a life-saving medication used in the event of an opioid overdose.
“Naloxone has saved countless lives not only in our state, but across the country,” said DMHAS Commissioner Miriam Delphin-Rittmon. “Getting this life-saving medication into the hands of those most at risk for an opioid overdose is crucial to not only reducing the number of fatal overdoses, but giving individuals another chance so they may begin treatment for opioid use disorder and start their path of recovery.”
“We know there’s no one solution to the opioid crisis, and naloxone is just one part of the bigger picture,” said Consumer Protection Commissioner Michelle H. Seagull, “Emergency departments are places where patients may be in critical need of naloxone. It can save patient lives, and ensure that patients are able to enter treatment programs. We’re proud of the work we’ve done with our partners and sister agencies to make this possible.”
The naloxone, funded by DMHAS through federal funds from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) through the State Opioid Response (SOR) Grant, is provided to the hospital EDs at no cost. The medication obtained through this initiative is for providing to patients and their loved ones upon discharge, not for administration in the ED. The medication may also be offered to individuals who may be at risk for an opioid overdose even if that is not their presenting problem at the time of admission to the ED.
In addition to the naloxone, patients and loved ones receiving the medication will also be provided information on how to recognize an opioid overdose, how to use the medication in the event of an overdose, and how to proceed if the person regains consciousness.
DMHAS has allocated approximately $400,000 in federal SOR funding over the next two years to supply the hospital EDs with naloxone. Nearly 6,000 doses of naloxone have been ordered and are being delivered to the EDs throughout the state.
In Connecticut, legislation was passed in 2015 allowing pharmacists who have been certified to prescribe and dispense naloxone directly to customers requesting it. Since 2015, thousands of pharmacists at hundreds of pharmacies in Connecticut have been certified to prescribe and dispense naloxone. To find a participating pharmacy near you, go to www.ct.gov/dcp/naloxone and click on “Naloxone Map”.
Individuals and their loved ones interested in help for addiction can call the DMHAS ACCESS Line at 1-800-563-4086 to be connected to addiction services and treatment. For more information about opioid use disorder, please visit the DMHAS website at www.ct.gov/dmhas/opioidresources.