DES MOINES, Iowa – Iowa health officials are accrediting the widespread availability of Narcan for the drop in opioid deaths in 2018.
The Iowa Department of Public Health released last years numbers just this month. Compared to 2017, opioid deaths dropped 33 percent from more than 200 to less than 140.
Health officials believe this drop is partly because narcan is available at many drug stores over the counter. You dont even need a prescription.
Kevin Gabbert of the Iowa Department of Public Health said that there is still more than needs to be done.
“I think the expanded avaliabilty of naloxone is the primary resaon were seeing a reduction, but in order for individuals to make changes in their lifes, you need to do more than just rescue those individuals from an opioid overdose. That’s where the exansion of opioid treatment comes in,” said Gabbert.
The department will soon be hosting training seminars on how to identify opioid misuse, along with a new initiative that will provide a Narcan kit every law enforcement officer in the state.