Opioid overdose medication available to Alabamians for free

Jefferson County Department of Health will mail two doses of Narcan to interested residents
WAFF's Megan Plotka reporting
Published: Mar. 14, 2022 at 11:29 AM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - The United States is experiencing an opioid epidemic and Alabama is no different. Alabama saw a 33% increase in deadly drug overdoses in 2021, now the Jefferson County Department of Health is stepping in to help save lives.

They want to put Naloxone, a medicine that reverses opioid overdoses, into as many hands as possible.

“When you take opioids it attaches to the receptors of the brain and it makes you feel euphoria, makes you feel calm and takes away your pain but it also slows your breathing. The overdose happens when you take too many of those opioids and your breathing slows down to the point where you basically stop breathing,” explains Behavioral Health Group counselor, Christi Mozo. " You can have blue or purple lips, you’re unresponsive just basic things that go with slowed breathing and slowed heart rate. What Narcan does, it knocks the opioid off the receptor and takes the place of them.”

The Jefferson County Department of Health will send two nasal-spray forms of Narcan to the mailing address from the form. All Alabama residents need to do is go to this website, fill out a short form and watch a seven-minute video.

Overdoses from all drugs look similar, but Narcan will only help someone experiencing an opioid overdose. However, experts say Narcan won’t cause any harm if it’s administered in any medical crisis.

“You just don’t know who’s using or who’s not using. Some people that use can look completely normal,” said Mozo. “You could be out grocery shopping and maybe someone passes out in a grocery store. Even if you don’t know why they passed out being in the state of overdosing you could give them the Naloxone and even if it’s not because of an opioid overdose it’s not going to have any negative effects.”

Health leaders say Narcan is a short-term solution, so 911 should still be called when administering the medicine.

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