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Ramsey County launches free naloxone distribution pilot project for residents

An illustration of naloxone and it's packaging. "Free naloxone. It could save a life" is underneath

Saint Paul – Ramsey County Public Health has launched a pilot project to offer county residents a potentially life-saving drug that can reverse an opioid overdose. The county offered free naloxone (commonly known as Narcan®) directly to residents on a limited basis, while supplies lasted. Orders are now closed. Please check back for future updates. All submitted orders will be processed and shipped to residents. 

Ramsey County residents who submitted an order for a naloxone kit received:

  • Two doses of naloxone nasal spray.
  • Breathing barriers and gloves.
  • Directions for use and a list of community resources.

Opioids are a class of drugs that include the illegal drug heroin, synthetic opioids such as fentanyl, and pain relievers available legally by prescription, such as oxycodone (OxyContin®), hydrocodone (Vicodin®), codeine, morphine and many others. The misuse of, addiction to, and overdosee from opioids is a national public health crisis. Naloxone can disable an opioid’s harmful effects to the brain, temporarily reversing an opioid overdose. It is only effective for an opioid overdose and is otherwise harmless.

Multiple government agencies and service providers are now required by state law to carry or maintain a supply of naloxone. The goal of the county’s pilot project for residents is to extend the availability of naloxone further into community.

“If you, your family or friends or someone you know could benefit from having naloxone on hand, please order a kit today,” said Public Health Director Sara Hollie. Given the initial limited supply, Hollie asks only residents from communities most impacted by the opioid epidemic and with the greatest likelihood of encountering an overdose, order a kit. “We want to make sure individuals and communities most impacted by the opioid epidemic have naloxone available, so they can stop an overdose,” said Hollie. “We’ll be assessing the demand and community interest in this first phase of the pilot to guide future steps.”

The naloxone kit pilot project is funded by Minnesota’s settlements with opioid companies and is part of the county’s Opioid Response Initiative.

Posted on Sunday, December 10, 2023 - 3:50 p.m.