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New Hampshire to Deploy more than 700 Public Overdose Reversal Kits

New Hampshire will deploy more than 700 public overdose reversal kits across the state, thought to be the first large-scale effort of its kind in the country. 

In an initiative announced Tuesday, the Department of Health and Human Services will partner with the state’s 13 regional public health networks, the New Hampshire Harm Reduction Coalition, and Recovery Friendly Workplace to distribute “NaloxBoxes” in all 10 counties. 

NaloxBox is a hard acrylic box mounted to an exterior wall that provides 24/7 access to naloxone, an overdose reversal medication that “can mean the difference between life and death for individuals in crisis,” DHHS said.

Public locations can normalize access to naloxone and reduce stigma often associated with opioid use, the department said. In 2022, there were 463 confirmed overdose deaths in New Hampshire, according to the chief medical examiner’s office.

New Hampshire’s announcement comes on the heels of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s approval last month of over-the-counter nasal Narcan, a brand name of naloxone, making it publicly available without a prescription for the first time.

In a statement, Gov. Chris Sununu said, “While prevention (re)mains our number one goal, this vital resource will help to save lives.”

DHHS Chief Medical Officer Jonathan Ballard said “the data is clear,” in that administering naloxone at the first sign of an overdose can save lives. Last year, participants in the New Hampshire Harm Reduction Coalition’s programs reported reversing 1,459 drug overdoses. 

“During a medical emergency, every minute counts, and providing public access to life-saving medication that can reverse the impact of an overdose while it is occurring is a critical step in reducing the number of lives lost to substance use disorder,” he said. 

DHHS said any business or community entity is eligible to request a NaloxBox unit to install in an “accessible and highly visible area.” Community partners that receive a unit will be responsible for monitoring the boxes regularly and requesting refills when necessary. 

Businesses or organizations that want to install a NaloxBox can contact State Opioid Response Director Jennifer Sabin at Jennifer.A.Sabin@dhhs.nh.gov.

Source : New Hampshire Bulletin