Through a federal grant, Wyoming’s health department will again provide free doses of the overdose-reversing drug NARCAN to schools, law enforcement and the state’s emergency services. The effort aims to bolster groups’ ability to save lives.
Why it matters: Overdose deaths have been steadily increasing in Wyoming. The Wyoming Department of Health reported there were 106 overdose deaths in 2021 compared to 99 the previous year and 78 in 2019.
“The opioid overdose deaths are really being driven by fentanyl,” Rodney Wambeam, Wyoming Survey & Analysis Center senior research scientist, previously told WyoFile. In 2021 there were 45 overdose deaths related to fentanyl compared to just 11 in 2019.
How it works: The funding for NARCAN orders is part of a broader grant from the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The health department is still waiting to see if SAMHSA will continue to provide funds in future years according to WDH spokesperson Kim Deti.
Eligible groups can order the life-saving medication from the department.
“This program provides free NARCAN to agencies, businesses and organizations in Wyoming that may be in position to help people who are experiencing an opioid overdose,” said Erica Mathews, WDH Grants and Programs Unit manager. “It’s meant for groups such as law enforcement agencies, emergency medical service providers and schools rather than for individual orders.”
Other resources: Wyoming residents are eligible for free online NARCAN administration training, according to WDH. They can access training here.
Eligible groups can go here to request free NARCAN doses.