Rock Springs members of the Wyoming Harm Reduction Collective put together kits with naloxone, masks, toothpaste and informational fliers. (Sofia Jeremias/WyoFile)

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.

Sofia Jeremias reports on healthcare, education and the economy in Wyoming. She received her master's degree from the Columbia Journalism School and previously reported on the West for Deseret News.

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  1. It is all well and good that NARCAN is being distributed; but, that treats a symptom…not the cause. This boils down to: a) close the southern border; b) increase ICE and DHS law enforcement (instead of funding more IRS workers); and c) prosecute criminals and don’t allow for early releases. The fentanyl and overdose rates will plummet.

  2. With brevity: A lifesaving dose of Naloxone – which can totally reverse an overdose from any form of opioid – costs less than a dollar to actually manufacture. In Europe and the UK you can buy it across the counter for $ 3.00

    Do we need any more argument for reforming the corrupt greedy selfish pricing of drugs by American Big Pharma than that ?

  3. First place to start is the big boys that are dealers, When we bought Moore Spring Hills place, 1983, There was a distribution place just south of us, Interesting how those things get over looked.

  4. I’m an ex drug addict , and if there had been narcan doses readily available.y mind set would be if I od my buddy will dose me out of it and I could take larger and larger syringe fulls of what I think is heroin ..

    1. I am so sorry you are so bitter towards other people, that you do not even know or understand. And the facts are that these human beings, all have families that believe it or not, truly love and care for them. Those drug users that you are referring to. And for myself, I really never understood what addictions were all about until people close to me, and my family were trying to deal with addictions. I always would say “pull up your boots, prioritize what’s important, stop doing drugs, and use your mind over matter”. but it is really not like that for someone that is a true addict, as they know what they are doing is wrong, but it is deeper than you or I can understand.
      I am very proud of the fact that in 2017 as a State Legislator I wrote; with the help of our great LSO staff, HB268 “Access to Naloxone”. with the belief that this bill could save many lives. Unfortunately, it did not pass the Committee hearing because the Pharmacy board had several pharmacist testify against the bill stating that they would have liability exposure.
      May Christ somehow touch your life Larry, to soften your heart that you might be able to understand that many folks have issues deep inside, that that is bigger than what they feel they can overcome.
      Bunky Loucks

      1. Your wrong about me Bunkey. But your not going to save the addicted. You of course tried to do it with tax payer money. Now I question you. How many addicts and homeless have you tried to save out of your own Pocket? And why not buy Narcan out of your own pocket and give to paramedics/EMS where you live? A TRUE CHRISTIN WOULD DO SO.