Drug Safe Solano creates new Narcan distribution program

Vallejo Times-Herald

The Solano County Sherriff’s Office and Mercury Pharmacy, both members of Touro University California’s Drug Safe Solano program, will be launching a new Narcan distribution program this summer.

The Give Life a Chance naloxone (also known as Narcan) distribution program will increase the availability and ease of access of Narcan – a life-saving medication that quickly reverses the effects of an opioid overdose, according to a press release from Touro University California.

“It is with great hope that Narcan will be accessible to those in need, so that anyone in the community may one day save a life, said Lt. John Swafford of the Solano County Sherriff’s Office in the same news release.

One of the coalition’s most successful strategies has been the provision of Narcan to Solano County law enforcement, which saved over 12 lives early last year. The Give Life a Chance program is an extension of that strategy into the larger community.

As Solano County’s first major joint effort between law enforcement services and professional social services, the Give Life a Chance has great promise to save lives while reducing negative public conceptions about opioid misuse and opening the doorway for future multidisciplinary efforts, officials said.

Since its founding in September 2018, Drug Safe Solano – a coalition of healthcare, law enforcement, public health and community stakeholders promoting opioid safety and harm reduction – has made notable progress in combating the opioid crisis.

More than 7,500 people were found suffering from opioid use disorder in Solano County in 2018 with over two-thirds lacking access to treatment.

Narcan is only available to those who have a referral from a healthcare provider. Through the Give Life a Chance program, Narcan will be readily available to low income community members for free at Mercury Pharmacy locations in Fairfield and Vallejo.

By increasing the number of individuals who have access to this medication, the program seeks to enable the timely administration of Narcan to save even more lives in the community.

“We’re excited to see our partners in Drug Safe Solano create and implement new ways to tackle the opioid crisis in Solano County,” said Sarah Sweitzer, provost and chief academic Officer. “Through programs such as Give Life a Chance, we’re getting live-saving medication out into communities to allow for timely administration to those suffering from an overdose. This program will help save lives and ultimately become a model for others to use throughout the state and country.”

To learn more, visit drugsafesolano.org or call (707) 638-5989.

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