Providing Naloxone kits to help reverse the deadly effects of opioid overdose

Working to combat the opioid epidemic

Opioid overdose deaths in Minnesota has consistently risen since 2019, according to data from the Minnesota Department of Health. During that time:

  • From 2019 to 2020, there was a 58% increase in overdose deaths
  • From 2020 to 2021, there was a 44% increase in overdose deaths

This increase in opioid deaths is why health care professionals are increasing educational efforts around naloxone (also known as Narcan) to help save lives. Naloxone is a medication that rapidly reverses the effects of opioids. It can quickly save the life of someone suffering from an overdose and it can be administered as an injection or nasal spray.

When a person administers naloxone during an opioid overdose, naloxone disables an opioid’s harmful effects to the brain, temporarily reversing an opioid overdose. It is only effective for an opioid overdose and is otherwise harmless. The effects of naloxone wear off after 30-45 minutes.

“Overdose is the number one leading cause of accidental death and the number one cause of death period between those ages 18 to 45,” said Alicia House, executive director of the Steve Rummler Hope Network. “It is a crisis and it has been labeled an epidemic and it is important that we put resources into combatting this so we can save lives.”

The need for naloxone is why volunteers from UnitedHealthcare joined Fairview Health Services and the Steve Rummler Hope Network to assemble naloxone kits.

Representatives from Fairview and Steve Rummler Hope Network answered questions and provided a training session before two shifts of UnitedHealthcare volunteers assembled more than 700 naloxone kits. The kits were collected and distributed to first responders at locations across the Twin Cities.

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