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CRANSTON, R.I. (June 12, 2019) — CODAC Behavioral Healthcare is backing statewide calls for the public to carry naloxone by launching a new initiative to dispense the life-saving medication to new and current patients. Representatives from CODAC said patients at the highest risk of witnessing or experiencing an overdose can receive a kit within 24 to 48 hours of being released from a hospital for reasons related to addiction, but it will also be available for other patients receiving treatment at CODAC.
“A startling number of overdoses are happening in public places throughout the state, and we want everyone to be able to save a life if they see an overdose happening,” said Linda Hurley, President/CEO of CODAC Behavioral Healthcare. “By providing Narcan kits to the most vulnerable people in our community, we are helping save daughters, sons, fathers, mothers and our neighbors in Rhode Island.”
Naloxone, which is commonly referred to by its brand name, Narcan, is designed to counteract the life-threatening effects of an opioid overdose. Current patients will receive this life-saving medication upon request and after meeting with their provider, although counselors say it is not necessary to meet with a provider to receive the medication. Patients will also receive the medication upon admit, and can request another kit if they used their kit. Narcan disbursements are being administered on a standing order by Dr. Susan Hart, the Medical Director at CODAC.
Statistics indicate that 34.2 percent of overdoses that EMS workers responded to in 2018 happened in public places such as beaches, parking lots, restaurants, and stores. Amidst the findings, the Rhode Island Department of Health issued a call for the public to carry Narcan, a medication available over the counter that typically costs $90 for two uses.
“Every second counts when someone has overdosed, and we hope to empower more people to take action if they see someone who needs help,” Hurley said. “We are determined to make sure that the cost of medication is not a barrier to helping others.”
Kits will be available to patients regardless of their insurance coverage, which Hurley explained is being handled in the back-end to streamline greater access to treatment.
About CODAC Behavioral Healthcare
Founded in 1971, CODAC Behavioral Healthcare is Rhode Island’s oldest and largest provider of outpatient services for opioid use disorder, other substance use disorders, and concurrent behavioral health challenges. With nine locations across Rhode Island, CODAC is uniquely positioned to provide services when and where they are needed. For more information about CODAC, visit: www.codacinc.org