This article was contributed by San Benito County Public Health Services.
In two recent and separate incidents, the Hollister Fire Department responded to apparent overdose calls. Upon arrival, the fire department quickly recognized the signs and symptoms of an opioid overdose and successfully administered the medication Naloxone (Narcan®) to reverse effects of the overdose.
This positive outcome is attributed to Naloxone training that the Hollister Fire Department received earlier this year along with other local key agencies such as emergency responders, law enforcement, probation and schools through the San Benito County Opioid Taskforce. The Naloxone doses were obtained through a grant provided by the California Department of Public Health to San Benito County Emergency Medical Services and Public Health Services.
Naloxone is a medication used to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. Once administered, Naloxone usually works to reverse the overdose within a couple of minutes and sometimes must be repeated. Its effects last anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes, hopefully enough time to get medical help for the patient.
The San Benito County Opioid Taskforce was created last fall to help address issues of opioid use and overuse within our community. The taskforce is a cross-collaborative group which includes such agencies as law enforcement, Behavioral Health, Public Health, Emergency Medical Services, local government and education, health care providers, pharmacists, the local food bank and community members, among others.
The Opioid Taskforce continues to work on strategies to reduce opioid misuse and potential overdoses in our community, such as: Naloxone training and distribution, education and outreach, expansion of substance abuse resources, and safe disposal of unused opioid prescriptions
For more information on the San Benito County Opioid Taskforce and/or Naloxone, please call San Benito County Public Health Services at (831) 637-5367 or go to San Benito Public Health Services website at http://hhsa.cosb.us/ or visit www.cdph.ca.gov.