The UF Healthstreet Overdose Prevention and Education initiative, sponsored by the Office of Substance Abuse and Mental Health of the Florida Department of Children and Families, launched Tuesday at the UF HPNP Atrium. Nearly 70 people were in attendance, ranging from students, faculty, staff and community members. The event was held to educate our community on the local opioid crisis, demonstrate the use of lifesaving naloxone, and distribute the drug to those in attendance. Over 70 naloxone kits (2 units per kit) and 48 deactivation pouches for dispensing of unused drugs were handed out.
According to the CDC, overdoses involving opioids killed more than 47,000 people in 2017, and 36% of those deaths involved prescription opioids. While legislation is being updated and access to alternative pain management is developing, naloxone is still one of the most direct ways to save someone who is experiencing an opioid overdose.
The powerful medication, naloxone, which was distributed under the brand name Narcan®, comes in a two dosage box of 4mg nasal spray containers. Naloxone is an opioid antagonist and can help reverse the effects of an overdose.
The medication is considered safe for anyone to use, including pregnant women, children and older adults. Administrating it is as simple as using any other nasal spray.
In addition to Narcan, a preventative measure of opioid abuse and misuse is the Deterra® drug disposal pouch. Whether it is an unused opioid dosage from surgery, dental procedure or other forms of pain management, leftover pills can accidentally be ingested or misused. While there are disposal boxes available in the community, they are often inconvenient to find. Also, the pouch prevents people from flushing unused drugs down the toilet, which can have negative environmental impacts.
The Deterra® drug disposal pouch offers a simple and effective way to completely breakdown opioids within the convenience of your own home.
If you or anyone you know is interested in more information or receiving Narcan spray or the deactivation bags, you can stop by Healthstreet at 2401 SW Archer Road, Gainesville, FL 32608 or call us at (352) 294-4880.
Linda B. Cottler PhD, MPH, FACE, Associate Dean for Research and Dean’s Professor, Director of HealthStreet
Michael Perri PhD, ABPP, Dean of the College of Public Health and Health Professions
Julie A. Johnson PharmD, Dean of the College of Pharmacy
Elizabeth Shenkman PhD, Director of the Clinical and Translational Science Institute
Catherine W. Striley PhD, MSW, ACSW, MPE, Co-Director of HealthStreet
Beatrice Dorestil, MPH, HealthStreet Director of Operations
Ayodeji Otufowora, 3rd year PhD student in the Department of Epidemiology
Michael S. Gutter PhD, Associate Dean for Extension
Henry Young, MD, Assistant Medical Director