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State health department giving out Narcan

MARK NANCE/Sun-Gazette Barbara Green, community health nurse for the Lycoming County State Health Center unpacks boxes of Narcan kits which will be given away on Wednesday. The kits are for use to save a person's life who has overdosed on opoids.

Narcan kits, meant to reverse the effects of opioids on the brain and respiratory system to save someone’s life, will be distributed at a local site.

The state Department of Health is going to hand them out at no cost while supplies last from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday at the department’s headquarters at 1000 Commerce Park Drive, officials said.

Lycoming County Coroner Charles E. Kiessling Jr. said the drug is a mixed blessing. “It does work. It is not always effective and it’s not a magic wand but it makes sense to have it on hand for quick resuscitation.”

Recent toxicology reports indicate

narcan in systems of the deceased, which meant it didn’t work or wasn’t delivered in time.

Drug mixes today are multiple times more powerful than heroin and morphine alone, Kiessling said.

The medication is supposed to reverse overdoses caused by an opioid by blocking the effects of opioids on the brain, said Dr. Rachel Levine, state Secretary of Health.

Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration said the distribution is part of an ongoing effort to reduce the number of opioid overdoses and get residents into treatment.

The drug is available at pharmacies, with some cost covered by insurance, Wolf said.

“Naloxone is crucial in saving lives, however it can’t stop there. Learning CPR and calling 911 is also essential. We urge you to take advantage of the free distribution day,” said Shea Madden, executive director of West Branch Drug and Alcohol Abuse Commission.

“There are many treatment options available — West Branch Drug & Alcohol is available to assist clients and their families in navigating this. Please contact us at 888-941-2721,” she added.

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