The Florida Department of Health in Monroe County recently started distributing free Naloxone
The Florida Department of Health in Monroe County recently started distributing free Naloxone (Narcan) Nasal Spray Kits to people who use drugs, people with a history of drug use, others at risk of experiencing an overdose, friends, family members, and others who may witness an overdose.
Narcan is a life-saving medication that reverses the effects of an opioid overdose, restoring breathing and consciousness within minutes of being administered.
Though Monroe County is one of the safest in Florida, thanks in part to Sheriff Ramsay and our wonderful law enforcement, fentanyl is here and often present in drugs when the user is not aware.
Narcan is easy to use and small to carry. It can easily be administered by anyone – not just healthcare professionals. It’s designed to be used before emergency medical assistance becomes available, and it is NOT intended to substitute for professional medical care.
Anytime Narcan must be used, the person who administers it should call 911 immediately to report a suspected opioid overdose, THEN give the Narcan. The goal with Narcan is to “buy some time” for emergency services to arrive and administer live-saving medical treatment. The opioid reversal of Narcan lasts approximately 30-90 minutes.
Narcan is not intended to be a “hall pass” for drug users. The reality is that not all drug users are ready to seek assistance. The administration of Narcan can be painful and extremely unpleasant for the person who needs it, but it may save their life and give them the opportunity for a future recovery from their addiction.
Everyone who gets a Narcan kit, will also get instructions for use and information on how to get help. In many cases a life-threatening accidental fentanyl overdose can be a wake-up call to someone and inspire positive change for a healthier future.
Anyone requesting a kit from us must meet the following eligibility criteria established by the state:
- Must be 18 years old or older
- Individuals at risk of experiencing an opioid overdose
- Caregivers who may witness an opioid overdose or others likely to experience or witness an opioid overdose.
Narcan kits can be obtained, no questions asked, 8am-4pm Monday-Friday at DOH-Monroe offices at each of our three locations in Key West, Marathon, and Tavernier.
- Gato Building, 1100 Simonton Street in Key West
- Ruth Ivins Center, 3333 Overseas Highway, Marathon
- Roth Building, 50 High Point Road, Tavernier
Addressing the opioid epidemic is a top priority for the state. Last year almost 8,000 people in Florida lost their lives to drug overdoses.
This community-based Naloxone distribution initiative is part of the state’s response to the overdose crisis. This month, Governor Ron DeSantis launched the Coordinated Opioid Recovery (CORE) program – the first of its kind in the nation – to provide comprehensive and sustainable care to those affected by substance use disorder.
Naloxone is FDA approved and also part of the CDC recommendations toward the goal of preventing opioid deaths. Naloxone has been used by EMS for more than 40 years.
In addition to the Narcan program, we want our Monroe County residents to know that our Health Department is for everyone. We offer vaccines for children and adults including travel vaccines, family planning services, comprehensive HIV care, and screening/treatment for hepatitis and sexually transmitted illnesses. You can reach any of our three locations by calling 305-293-7500.