As the opioid epidemic worsens, Jefferson Parish distributes more than 100 free narcan packs in 2 days – FOX 8 Live WVUE

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) – Jefferson Parish leaders say they replenished a supply of free Naloxone or Narcan for residents, but supplies are already dwindling again.
For about a month, the parish began making the life-saving drug used in opioid overdoses available for households.
Since losing his son in a drug-related shooting in New Orleans, Dan Schneider keeps his son’s memory close.
“The opioid situation is ridiculously high. We must do whatever we can do to stop this, Narcan, it’s a miracle drug to give a person a second chance,” said Schneider.
He’s helped jump start not only a non-profit, but also programs to distribute Narcan in other parishes hoping to save other sons and daughters.
Schneider says even he didn’t expect to need the life-saving drug.
“I had an intern that was working for me who had previously had a drug problem. And but he seemed to be totally in recovery and whatnot. And he came to work one day, and he overdosed out in the street,” said Schneider.
“Jefferson parish from 2019 to 2020 overdose deaths rose by 67%,” said Chief administrative assistant, Sarah Babcock.
The pandemic made the opioid epidemic even worse, including in Jefferson Parish. So, when they teamed up with University Medical Center to distribute overdose packs free of charge through 5 area fire stations. Parish leaders say they quickly ran out of supplies. They gave away more than 100 tests in 2 days.
“We see that the demand is there in our community…. I think that this is the future. I think that this is that it will become commonplace for people to have naloxone on this. And just, you know, like, you might carry another kind of first aid kit right and have it in your car in your home available to people and we hope to continue to expand this,” said Babcock.
Before using an overdose pack on a suspected overdose, dial 911 first. First responders say they receive these calls regularly, but if naloxone can be administered even before they arrive, it can save valuable seconds.
“This does save us a lot of time, but it’s the first step in a long process of treatment to make sure that that person becomes healthy again,” said Jefferson Parish Fire Chief, Dave Tibbetts.
For Schneider, that’s what it’s about, saving lives, hoping an overdose pack in every household could be a step towards that.
“You never know when you’re going to run into a situation where you save a life, but it simply creates an awareness. Simply going to get it or knowing that your neighbor has one. And when you get this type of awareness, it kind of spreads around and maybe it prevents some people from actually trying these things. We’re in this business to help people and I think this will help people,” said Schneider.
The overdose packs are available at the 5 fire station locations as long as they have the supply to support it.
Overdose rescue packs can be obtained Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at any of the following locations:
· Fire Station #13: 4642 Calumet St., Metairie, LA 70001
· Fire Station #26: 1115 Hickory Ave., Harahan, LA 70123
· Fire Station #31: 10423 Jefferson Highway, River Ridge, LA 70123
· Fire Station #39: 401 Vintage Dr., Kenner, LA 70065
· Fire Station #76: 4040 U.S. 90, Avondale, LA 70094
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