Iowa is considered a low incidence state when it comes to the number of deaths involving opioids. However, the Department of Public Health’s Opioid Initiative Director, Kevin Gabbert, says the goal is for Iowa to be a no incident state. Which is why they partnered with the University of Iowa Healthcare to provide these Narcan kits to the public. The target for these kits aren’t the ones with the addiction, but the loved ones of the user.
“We feel that this particular initiative, it’s for everyone, but it really targets those persons in a position to assist. Those individuals that care about someone else and want to be better prepared in the event that their loved one or family member or friend display some sort of symptoms of an opioid overdose,” Gabbert said.
Gabbert also made it clear that naloxone is not an end all be all drug solution to the opioid crisis. It is only a resource to help keep Iowans alive during a time of emergency. Gabbert says right now the data shows that there were no increases or decreases in the amount of opioid deaths in Iowa from 2018 to 2019. The Department of Public Health hopes to change that in 2020 by figuring out more recovery efforts and ways to help users beyond treatment.
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