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MCF's Overdose Response Program: Getting Naloxone to Those in Need

Tara Wetherell - Tuesday, July 21, 2020

NarcanNaloxone, a medication used to reverse an opioid overdose, can rapidly restore normal breathing in a person who has overdosed on heroin or another opioid. In partnership with the Howard County Health Department, all nine of MCF’s Substance Use Family Peer Support Specialists across the state have been trained deliver instruction on the use of Naloxone and to distribute Naloxone doses to families in need.

“MCF developed this program because we saw a need—our staff regularly encounter families with a loved one who is actively using opioids and these families need a safety plan immediately,” explains Trish Todd, MCF’s Substance Use Program Manager. “Through this program, we have been able to train individuals and distribute Naloxone to families on the spot.”

While initially trainings were done with families on a one-to-one basis, later our staff began offering trainings and Naloxone at support group meetings and during presentations to groups on Maryland’s Good Samaritan Law (this law offers legal protections for people who seek help in an emergency overdose situation, as well as for the person experiencing an overdose). Our staff also deliver these trainings online, as well as at workshops and resource fairs across the state.

Since MCF’s Overdose Response Program began in June 2019, 154 people have been trained and 356 doses of Naloxone have been distributed. Staff provide two doses of Naloxone to each person who is trained, and families that use up their doses can return to us for more. Each dose that is used has potentially saved a life.

For more information about Naloxone and Overdose Prevention training through MCF’s Overdose Response Program, email Trish Todd.

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