GILA COUNTY - Gila County is breaking new ground in the fight against opioid abuse by offering a life-saving overdose antidote free to the public.
The “recovery kits” contain two doses of naloxone (the drug that can reverse an opioid overdose), two intramuscular syringes, and clear instructions on when and how to administer the drug. The Gila County Health Department is the first county health department in the state to make naloxone available free to the public. The potentially life-saving injection should be administered in one of four major muscle groups and does not have to be injected into a vein to be beneficial. Because the antidote is injected into a muscle, the syringes included in the kit are different than those made to inject into veins.
Chuck Turney, of the Gila County Health Department, explains that members of the public do not need to provide identification to pick up one of the kits. A health department staff member will meet with those who come in for kits, connecting them with other services if applicable. “We want to figure out how we can best help you,” says Turney. Turney encourages anyone—family, friends, concerned citizens—to pick up a recovery kit, but especially those with an opioid user in their lives.
“Overdose is happening in our communities,” says Turney. “We want to keep people alive and hopefully help get them into recovery.”
The Gila County Sheriff’s Office recently trained its deputies to administer Narcan, the form of naloxone in a nasal spray.
The Gila County Health Department is able to make the recovery kits available through a partnership with Sonoran Prevention Works and Copper Basin Coalition.
Visit the Gila County Health Department or call 928-200-0716.
Gila County Health Department, Globe-Miami: 5515 S. Apache Ave., Suite 100
Gila County Health Department, Payson: 107 W. Frontier Rd., Suite A