Del. Gets Big Donation in Fight Against Heroin Overdoses - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Del. Gets Big Donation in Fight Against Heroin Overdoses

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DOVER, Del. (WBOC) - Delaware got a big donation Wednesday. A Virginia Company,Kaleo, that manufactures an auto-injector kit for Naloxone has donated 2,000 kits to the state.

Naloxone is a drug used to counteract the effects of a heroin or opioid overdose.

Schools across Delaware are going back into session this week and next. And this school year, after this donation, school nurse offices will have Naloxone on-hand just in case.

The Delaware Department of Education says it's not aware of any heroin or opiate overdose deaths in schools anywhere in the nation.

"However, given the rate of overdose and death in Delaware, we are supporting Public Health’s proactive outreach to community partners who work with vulnerable populations,” said Dr. Linda Wolfe, director of school support services for the DOE, in a news release.

"The goal is to be proactive," said Dr. Karyl Rattay, director of the Delaware Division of Public Health. "And what we hear from school nurses and others in schools is if it is in the community, it's in their schools."

In addition to school nurses' offices, the kits will be going to lots of other places. Dr. Rattay says the largest percentage is going to community treatment centers.

"[They] are helping us to train community members, friends, family members and addicts through the needle exchange program. That way they have it on-hand if it's needed for an overdose."

The three Delaware police departments trained to use Naloxone are getting a portion of the donation, too. The Ocean View Police Department is one of those three. Its chief has told WBOC just how important having the antidote is.

"This is a life-saving tool that we can have in police vehicles. We can deploy it out in the field as part of the pre-hospital deployment," said Chief Kenneth McLaughlin.

Each of the units cost about $500. So the donation is worth about $100,000.

The state says the donation is only a short-term boost to the supply of Naloxone across Delaware. The units expire in February. Officials hope by then other attempts to expand availability of Naloxone will have come through.

Delaware Gov. Jack Markell has called the heroin and opioid abuse situation in The First State an epidemic. According to state numbers, 185 people died in Delaware from suspected overdoses last year. That's more than died in car crashes. Through July of this year that number is 78.

Also, since last year's passage of a bill allowing wider use of Naloxone in the community, about 300 people have been trained to administer it in Delaware.

Meanwhile, Delaware Attorney General Matt Denn is trying to get rebates for agencies that carry Narcan kits. Narcan is the nasal spray of the antidote. It costs more than $100 per kit.

Denn is trying to strike a deal with the California manufacturer to give rebates for it. This comes after the company gave discounts to a number of states and said it would consider requests from others, such as Delaware.

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