Riverside Healthcare is helping in the fight against overdose deaths in Kankakee County. Riverside recently presented a $5,000 check to local leaders for the purchase of Narcan.
Narcan is an overdose-reversal medicine being used by first responders to prevent the rising epidemic of opioid related overdose deaths.
According to Riverside Healthcare Manager of Ambulance Al Ponton, "Narcan, or naloxone, is an opiate antidote. It is a nasal spray that blocks the effects of opioids and reverses the effects of an overdose almost instantly. Opioids include heroin and prescription pain pills like morphine, codeine, oxycodone, methadone and Vicodin."
Overdose deaths from opioids, including prescription opioids and heroin, have nearly quadrupled since 1999. Overdoses involving opioids killed more than 28,000 people in 2014. In 2015, Kankakee County had 22 deaths resulting from an overdose alone.
Together with Riverside, law enforcement, first responders and the Kankakee County Coroner's office are working to ensure these efforts are put in place to combat overdose deaths, save lives and direct individuals to treatment and prevention resources.