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Stoneham Provides Free Narcan and Overdose Prevention Training

Stoneham is now offering a program to increase community access to naloxone (sold under the brand name Narcan), a lifesaving prescription medication used to rapidly reverse an opioid overdose.

The Stoneham Prevention and Outreach Department's Naloxone Program is a collaborative effort with the Board of Health and the Mystic Valley Public Health Coalition to make naloxone and overdose prevention training available through municipal health departments free of charge. This pioneer program first started in the MetroWest area with Framingham, Hudson, Ashland, and Natick, and has now been replicated in several other municipalities including Stoneham, Medford and Malden.

Illicit opioids such as heroin and fentanyl, and prescription pain relievers such as OxyContin and Percocet, when misused can lead to overdose and possible death. An opioid overdose happens when the drug binds to the receptors in the brain responsible for breathing, slowing and eventually stopping it all together. Naloxone removes the opioids from those same receptors and reverses the opioid's effect by restoring breathing. Naloxone has no side effects, no potential for abuse, and is only used for this one purpose.

Staff members at the Prevention and Outreach office received training to be able to provide overdose prevention education and instruction on how to administer naloxone to community members and businesses/organizations. The naloxone kit will contain two intranasal doses of the medication, as well as treatment resources and information.

Individuals interested in obtaining naloxone can walk-in to the Stoneham Prevention and Outreach Department during business hours or call to schedule an appointment to receive one-on-one training and a naloxone kit cost-free. Organizations or businesses interested in an overdose prevention training or obtaining naloxone kits for their place of work can also call to schedule a training. Both of these free services are available to anyone who lives or works in Stoneham. Please contact Kayla Vodka at (781)-850-0610 for more information or to schedule an appointment or training.

Massachusetts state law allows for an individual to obtain and carry naloxone with the intention to administer it to another person. Through the statewide standing order, naloxone is available for anyone to purchase at participating pharmacies without a prescription.

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