Minnesota’s latest effort to prevent overdose deaths

DULUTH, MN. (CBS 3 Duluth) – For people who have had a drug overdose, a drug called Narcan can be a lifesaver.

It is also called Naloxone and can be given as an injection or a nasal spray.

“You just put it in someone’s nose, push the plunger down. Then wait three minutes and they’re usually revived,” said Jess Nickila, substance use response team coordinator for the Duluth Police Department.

According to Nickila, Duluth police officers and emergency medical service workers have been carrying the spray for years.

Although the drug can act quickly, waiting to administer it could have life-threatening consequences.

“Time is a determining factor in an overdose,” said Cody Bassett, naloxone coordinator for the Minnesota Department of Health.

That’s one of the reasons the Department of Health has created a new interactive map, called the Naloxone Finder.

On the online map, anyone can enter their postal code and find out where to get Narcan in their area.

“The goal is to make information about naloxone more accessible to everyone in Minnesota,” Bassett said.

State officials said they are trying to train and equip people from all walks of life to administer the life-saving drug.

According to Nickila, the number of overdoses in Duluth continues to rise.

“This is our highest number of overdoses on record,” Nickila said.

But increasing access to Narcan could lower the number of overdose-related deaths.

“The more people we have with Narcan, the more people we will save from opioid overdoses,” Nickila said.

Health officials said it’s quick and easy to learn how to administer Narcan.

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