Sobering Center is distributing naloxone to help save lives
(Vancouver, WA) – Lifeline Connections’ Sobering Center is contributing to the national goal of reducing the number of opiate overdose deaths by distributing the antidote naloxone whose trade name is Narcan™. Heroin and prescription pain pills (e.g. morphine, codeine, oxycodone, methadone and Vicodin™) are all opiates. Excessive amounts of opiates can depress and/or stop breathing, which leads to overdose and in some situations death.
After a dose of naloxone the individual should begin to breathe normal and then it becomes easier to wake them. Naloxone begins working within 5 minutes. A second does maybe necessary if the individual is still showing signs of overdose. Naloxone comes in both injectable, which is injected into a muscle, and nasal spray and lasts 30-90 minutes. Lifeline is distributing the injectable form. The kits being distributed include two syringes, two doses of naloxone, a mouth protector, a pair of plastic gloves, alcohol swab and instructions that include calling 911.
The initial distribution of 18 packages will be given to Sobering Center patients as requested or on a first come first serve basis. Casey Pickard, Lifeline’s Sobering Supervisor, was happy to see this project come to fruition. “To provide the ability to prevent unnecessary death means we make a difference in that individual’s life, in the lives of their family and in the community. To hand out the first kit was very rewarding.”
The Sobering Center offers persons over the age of 18 a safe environment in which to overcome the immediate effects of alcohol and/or other drug intoxication. This includes persons apprehended by police who are impaired, as a diversion from jail. Local emergency departments also refer impaired individuals that do not present immediate medical needs. The service operates free of charge to Washington State residents and is a 20 bed inpatient program, which is open 24 hours a day seven days a week with a maximum 12 hours length of stay.