Missouri county to increase availability of naloxone

St. Louis County, Mo., recently launched an initiative in the county’s Opioid Action Plan that will make naloxone available for free to community groups and the public at John C. Murphy Health Center during regular business hours.

The drug is already available through community partners and at the Justice Center.

Naloxone is commonly distributed under the brand name Narcan and is used as an intervention tool to reverse an opioid overdose. The Department of Public Health had made it a priority to increase access to the drug.

“Our entire region has been deeply affected by the opioid epidemic,” Dr. Sam Page, county executive, said. “St. Louis County continues to develop resources for our residents, health care providers, and public health partners – focusing on underserved communities – to combat this crisis.”

The health center was chosen because it is located in a community heavily impacted by the opioid crisis.

Missouri does not have a statewide prescription monitoring system, so St. Louis County expanded its Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) in February to support the state’s providers. The county administers the program for 75 participating jurisdictions.

Health-care providers can track controlled substance prescriptions through the PDMP, which ensures patients only are receiving recommended doses.