Yesterday, DPH staff was joined at the State House by Secretary of Health and Human Services John Polanowicz to announce the Overdose Education and Naloxone Distribution Program has reported its 2,000th overdose reversal in six years of operation.
Naloxone, also known as Narcan, blocks the effects of opioids such as heroin, oxycodone, hydrocodone, fentanyl, codeine and methadone. As part of the overdose prevention program, staff distribute naloxone nasal spray kits and provide training to opioid users and trusted people in their lives, such as family, friends and human services providers. The training helps individuals recognize and respond to an overdose by calling 9-1-1, performing rescue breathing and administering naloxone nasal spray. The programs also offer referrals to treatment and long-term supports.
DPH has operated the overdose prevention program since 2007, as part of a multi-faceted approach to overdose prevention, including increased access to opiate treatment, funding for municipalities to reduce overdoses at the community level and educational awareness programs.
Training and naloxone nasal spray kits are available at sites located in 15 Massachusetts cities, all with high overdose rates: Boston, Brockton, Cambridge, Fall River, Holyoke, Hyannis, Lawrence, Lowell, Lynn, New Bedford, Northampton, Provincetown, Quincy, Springfield and Worcester.
Lieutenant Detective Patrick Glynn of the Quincy Police Department and Joanne Peterson, founder of Learn to Cope, a DPH-sponsored support group for parents and family members living with a loved one addicted to opioids, also spoke and shared their experiences with the OEND program and the effect it has had on their communities.
For more information on the OEND program, and other ways that DPH is working with communities across Massachusetts to reduce opioid overdoses, visit the Opioid Overdose Prevention website. For a referral to treatment please go to www.helpline-online.com or call 800-327-5050.
Weekly Flu Report, December 19, 2014 posted on Dec 19
Rates of flu-like illness increased slightly over the past seven days in Massachusetts, as indicated in the latest weekly flu report. Flu season doesn’t tend to peak until later in February or even March – so there is still plenty of time to get vaccinated …Continue Reading Weekly Flu Report, December 19, 2014
Weekly Flu Report, December 12, 2014 posted on Dec 12
This week’s flu report shows a slight dip in rates of flu-like illness since last week’s report – which is entirely in keeping with the unpredictable nature of flu season. One thing we know for sure is that no matter what, the single best way to …Continue Reading Weekly Flu Report, December 12, 2014
Highlights of the Public Health Council Meeting, December 10, 2014 posted on Dec 10
The December monthly meeting of the Public Health Council featured the consideration of one Determination of Need (DoN) request, two votes on final amendments to existing regulations, and an informational presentation to the Council on a key DPH community initiative. First, the Council took up …Continue Reading Highlights of the Public Health Council Meeting, December 10, 2014