Pennsylvania County Begins Handing Out Free Heroin Overdose Kits

A Pennsylvania county has decided to put the power of a heroin antidote into the hands of the people.

Berks County began handing out Naloxone, better known as Narcan, in hopes of curbing overdose deaths in rural pockets of the county. So far this year, the county has had 20 overdose deaths – nearly double last year’s total.

“The problem is not going to go away,” said George Vogel with the Reading-based Council on Chemical Abuse. “… If this prevents a person from dying it’s well worth the investment.”

The nasal injection that retails for around $60 normally can reverse an overdose. The free kits are usually reserved for use by police officers and medics.

“The idea is you want it to get to brain as soon as possible,” said Vogel.

Heroin users battling addiction aren’t the only ones being encouraged to pick up the antidote. Vogel says it’s perfect for families with loved ones battling addiction.

To get a kit, people can go to the Council on Chemical Abuse on Penn Street. But they must first complete an online survey and meet with a staff member.

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