The Wichita Mountains Prevention Network (WMPN) recommends everyone with an opioid prescription to carry the drug Naloxone, otherwise known as Narcan, with them at all times in order to combat unintentional opioid overdose.
While traditionally used by First Responders, a press release said Erica Ray, the Partnership for Success Coordinator at WMPN, urges those at risk of overdose to carry Narcan on hand or in their personal first-aid kits.
According to the press release, Narcan works by counteracting life-threatening depression of the central nervous system and respiratory systems, allowing victims of overdose to breathe normally.
Oklahoma has been known by many as an area of high opioid abuse, making organizations like WMPN that much more important for the community.
“Last year, prescription drug overdoses killed more Oklahomans than automobile crashes, and the overdoses can be prevented by using medications as prescribed,” said Brooke Mahoney, Regional Prevention Coordinator with WMPN in an earlier press release.
“That’s why, locally, WMPN and local partners are working to raise awareness in Stephens County to prevent and ultimately reduce the deaths.”
According to National Vital Statistics Systems (NVSS), there were 79 opioid overdose deaths in Stephens County from 2005 to 2014. To date, nationally, over 25,000 lives have been saved by first responders through overdose reversals with Narcan.