ONEIDA COUNTY, Ny. (WUTR/WFXV/WPNY) – On Wednesday, June 22nd, The Oneida County Opioid Taskforce kicked off the new ‘Save a Life’ campaign, expanding access to Naloxone with the distribution of overdose rescue kits at public places and community organizations.

Naloxone can be administered by bystanders, does not require a prescription, and is generally safe to use, even if given to someone who is incorrectly identified as experiencing an overdose. The hope of the ‘Save a Life’ campaign is to increase the number of public places with access to naloxone, to help people recognize the signs of an overdose, and to understand how to administer naloxone nasal spray in a safe and timely manner in the event of an overdose.

“At a time when we are seeing the highest rates of overdoses and overdose deaths across the nation, we need to not only think outside of the box to expand distribution and ease of access to naloxone but also treat it as a standard emergency tool that should be as readily available as fire extinguishers, AED devices, EpiPens and other common-sense items we keep in our first aid kits,” said Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. “An overdose can occur at any time or place and can happen with both prescription and illicit opioids. For that reason, I urge all our local businesses and organizations to lend their support in protecting the health of the public by readily accepting a free overdose rescue kit.”

Free ‘Save a Life’ Overdose Rescue Kits will be left at public places and community events such as hotels and motels, convenience stores, bars, restaurants, libraries, retail stores, places of worship, and other businesses by first responders and trained community-based organizations associated with the Opioid Task Force (OTF) partner agencies.

Anyone else interested in getting a free kit can visit the OTF website at www.ocopioidtaskforce.org and choose one of the two following options:

  • Requesting via email a free “Save a Life” Overdose Rescue Kit, a small pouch containing two Narcan brand nasal spray doses.
  • Completing a short online application for a free 13” x 13” Narcan Emergency Cabinet to install at their site, which also contains two Narcan nasal spray doses.

The Oneida County Health Department (OCHD) recommends anyone interested in carrying Naloxone on their person or having it at home should be trained to recognize the signs of an overdose and be able to properly administer Naloxone. Training is available in person, virtually, or online. Anyone interested in learning more can go to the OTF website to see a listing of contact information for all local agencies that offer free naloxone and training, including some that can send Narcan via mail.

Naloxone nasal spray is also available in more than 2,000 pharmacies across New York State without a prescription from a doctor.