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, February 12, 2016 posted on Feb 12
Rates of flu-like illness continued to climb over the past seven days, according to the latest weekly flu report. This is consistent with what we typically see at this point of flu season in years past. And if prior flu seasons are any indication, we can …Continue Reading Weekly Flu Report, February 12, 2016
Happy Valentine’s Day…Made Even Happier! posted on Feb 11
I used to think that Halloween through New Year’s was the hardest time of the year to stick to my goal of eating healthfully, considering leftover candy from trick or treating, Thanksgiving dinner, holiday parties and gatherings—the list goes on and on. By the time …Continue Reading Happy Valentine’s Day…Made Even Happier!
Highlights from the February 10th Public Health Council Meeting posted on Feb 10
This month’s Public Health Council meeting featured a series of presentations and discussions on proposed amendments to regulations, followed by informational updates on select Department initiatives. First the Council received updates from the Department on the status of proposed amendments to regulations related to: Safety Requirement for …Continue Reading Highlights from the February 10th Public Health Council Meeting