Volunteers assemble more than a thousand opioid overdose kits

Volunteers assemble more than a thousand opioid overdose kits.
Published: Sep. 13, 2022 at 5:09 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The Anchorage Health Department saw a big turnout Tuesday when volunteers and employees gathered to assemble 1,500 opioid overdose rescue kits. Supplies for the kits were provided by Project HOPE, part of the Alaska Office of Substance Misuse and Addiction Prevention, which will distribute the finished kits around the state.

Each kit contains two doses of the medication Naloxone, which can reverse an opioid overdose, as well as fentanyl test strips, The items, according to Jordan Kamer of the Anchorage Health Department, are designed to save lives.

“What these kits do is they block the opioids on your receptors,” Kamer said. “And they buy you time for paramedics, for EMS to show up and save your life from an overdose death.”

Kamer said she hoped more people would consider carrying the kits.

“Having one isn’t an indication that you do substances, it could just be that you are trying to be a helper you are trying to save someone’s life,” Kamer said. “And maybe you don’t need it, but you can give it away to a friend or family member if you think they need it more.”

The Anchorage Police Department doesn’t currently have a policy in place that allows officers to carry the life-saving drug. On Thursday, APD Spokesperson Renee Oistad said in an email that the department was working on a policy for eventual implementation, but was still coordinating with medical and legal experts as well as with the employees union. Oistad called it “a work in progress” with no date set for implementation.

The kits are available for free to the public from the Anchorage Health Department. The Project HOPE website lists other locations around the state where people can also pick up free overdose rescue kits.