Thomas Jefferson Health District to Provide Free Rescue Medication for Opioid Overdoses

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The Thomas Jefferson Health District, which serves much of central Virginia, is launching a program to combat opioid overdoses.

On November 21, 2016 the State Health Commissioner, Dr. Marissa J. Levine, declared a Public Health Emergency for Virginia as a result of the opioid addiction epidemic in the commonwealth.

According to Levine, law enforcement was not able to “arrest their way out of the crisis” and therefore needed public health officials to take more steps to intervene.

Early in 2017, Narcan became available to patients over the counter in pharmacies in Virginia without a prescription. 

Narcan is a nasal spray that can restore breathing and reduce the potential fatal effects of overdoses. The medication’s effects only last for 30 to 90 minutes, so the person taking it should quickly seek emergency medical attention. 

As of September 12, 2017, community members can pick up Narcan, at no cost, by making an appointment at health departments in Charlottesville, Palmyra, Stanardsville, Louisa and Arrington in Nelson County.

“The people that we are encouraging to have this medication are individuals who either have family members or people that live in their households that use a lot of opioid medications on a chronic basis, or someone who has a family member that has previously had an overdose episode, " said Denise Bonds, health director for Thomas Jefferson Health District. 
The appointment may take over an hour if the patient has not received REVIVE training at the time of the appointment.
For more information about the program or to schedule an appointment, call the closest location from the list of numbers provided below. 

(Charlottesville, Va.) — In an effort to prevent fatal opioid overdoses, the Thomas Jefferson Health District (serving the City of Charlottesville and Albemarle, Fluvanna, Greene, Louisa, and Nelson counties) will launch a program to distribute free Naloxone (also known as NARCAN), a fast-acting, safe and easy-to-administer nasal spray that can restore breathing and reduce the potentially fatal effects of opioid overdoses. A family member, bystander, first responder or medical provider can administer naloxone and save lives.

Community members can pick up free NARCAN by scheduling an appointment at any of the following health departments. Only the Charlottesville/Albemarle Health Department will offer walk-in times. Appointments may take as long as 1-2 hours, if training is needed. Those who have completed the REVIVE! program do not need additional training, but must bring proof of training completion.

Charlottesville/Albemarle Health Dept.*

Address: 138 Rose Hill Drive,Charlottesville, Va.

Phone: 434-972-6200

* The Charlottesville/Albemarle Health Dept. will offer walk-in times (no appointment needed) every Tuesday morning (8:15 to 11:30 a.m.) and all day every Wednesday (8:15 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.).

Fluvanna County Health Department

Address: 32 Main St., Route 15, Palmyra, Va.

Phone: 434-591-1960 

Greene County Health Department

Address: 50 Stanard Street, Stanardsville, Va.

Phone: 434-985-2262

Louisa County Health Department

Address: 540 Industrial Drive, Louisa, Va.

Phone: 540-967-3703

Nelson County Health Department

Address: 4038 Thomas Nelson Highway Arrington, Va.

Phone: 434-263-8315

Those who should consider having naloxone for an opioid overdose emergency include individuals – and their household members – who have experienced an opioid overdose, used naloxone or prescribed or non-prescribed opioids, including heroin, or who have received or are receiving medication for opioid use disorder, such as naltrexone, methadone or buprenorphine.

Those with the highest risk for opioid overdoses include anyone recently treated for an overdose, or anyone who has used opioids in the past and quit, including individuals released from incarceration or in patient treatment programs.

For more information on the Thomas Jefferson Health District, call 434-972-6200 or visit www.TJHD.org.