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Lifesaving naloxone is available at no cost

Naloxone nasal spray
Matthew Rakola
Naloxone nasal spray

Last spring, a statewide law allowed for broader access to emergency treatment for opioid overdose, a phenomenon that’s become increasingly common in Florida. All 67 counties in Florida now have naloxone available for distribution. Also known as Narcan, naloxone restores breathing in a person in danger of overdosing.

Jerri Ithal, RN, assistant community nursing director for the Florida Department of Health in Lee County, notes that people over 18 can request a naloxone kit at no cost and anonymously from the health department, among other locations.

“We really want to reduce barriers to access to naloxone, such as affordability, and sometimes the stigma involved,” Ithal said.

She added that overdose deaths have been steadily rising since the beginning of 2019.

“The goal here is harm reduction and providing the community with more tools to reduce overdoses,” she went on to say. “And also taking a nonjudgemental approach to substance abuse is really key here.”

To find naloxone near you anywhere in Florida, check ISAVEFL.com.

In Fort Myers, go to the Lee County Health Departmentat 3920 Michigan Avenue Monday through Friday, 8 AM to 5 PM. Visits are not logged and no appointment is necessary. You can also call the Lee County Department of Health anonymously at 239-461-6100.

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