Kansas Department of Corrections personnel delivered Narcan, an antidote that will stop an opioid overdose, to area law enforcement agencies Tuesday at the new Bourbon County Law Enforcement Center.
KDOC Administrator Liz Rice along with Andrew Lucht, corrections manager, hand-delivered the boxes of Narcan to several Kansas first responders on stops throughout the eastern portion of the state.
Bourbon County Sheriff Bill Martin, Fort Scott Police Department Captain Shaun West, and Allen County Undersheriff Roy Smith came to the new law enforcement center to pick up the boxes.
Liz Rice provided a news release she wrote that explains the reason for the delivery:
“In Governor Colyer’s March 1st announcement of EXECUTIVE ORDER 18-09: Task Force to Address Substance Use Disorders he shared with us that ‘The crisis of substance use disorder, particularly addiction to opioids, heroin and methamphetamine, has truly become an epidemic in our state and our country’ in that order the Governor called for greater cooperation and collaboration of state agencies, organizations, professionals, emergency response personnel, and others with policymaking authority to address substance use disorders,” according to the news release.
“We are seeing the results of that call to action today with the delivery of the Opioid reversal agent Naloxone to first responders across our great state. Opioid reversal medications are not just for addicts, we need to have them available for accidental exposure as well.”
“First responders are there when an accidental overdose occurs in a home setting or they may have accidental exposure themselves while investigating criminal activity. We want Naloxone available in all situations of Opioid overdose.”
Rice said through a grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services (KDADS) $1.3M was given to The University of Kansas Health System to provide treatment, prevent opioid-related deaths and educate Kansans and health care providers about the Opioid Epidemic.
“The University of Kansas Health System leveraged pharmacy relationships to use grant funds to obtain NARCAN® (naloxone HCl) at the lowest available price for mass distribution to first responders across the state of Kansas.” according to the press release.
“NARCAN® (naloxone HCl) Nasal Spray was chosen for its ease of use in delivering Naloxone in a nasal spray for the emergency treatment of known or suspected opioid overdose.”
Rice said she and Lucht had delivered the drug to law enforcement entities in Labette, Cherokee, and Osage Counties this route and were on their way to Miami and Franklin Counties.
“We bought enough to get you started, ” Rice said. “This will get it out on the streets where needed. I would put a box in each (law enforcement) car.”
A training video to go along with the drug is provided, she said.
Captain West said the FSPD will provide training for each of their first responders and will put the Narcan in both marked and unmarked vehicles for emergency use.
Sheriff Martin also asked for some to be provided to the Bourbon County Rural Fire Departments, and Rice complied with that request.
Captain West said Narcan “only stops an opioid overdose, it has no effect other than stopping a high.”