AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin-Travis County EMS officials provided an update Friday on funding and training initiatives for opioid overdose reversal medications, including NARCAN.
Per the memo, Austin Public Health and ATCEMS worked together on the NARCAN purchase and distribution initiatives. APH allocated $75,000 from the Opioid Settlement funds to ATCEMS to support initial purchases of NARCAN and overdose response kit supplies.
The $75,000 will cover the purchase of 800 overdose response kits, which include two doses of NARCAN per kit. Those kits will then be distributed to community-based organizations that are working with APH on its naloxone distribution initiatives.
“Research supports that increasing the distribution of NARCAN through [community-based organizations] to people most at risk of experiencing or responding to an opioid overdose can potentially avert an estimated 25% of opioid overdose deaths,” the memo read in part.
The memo noted that APH received “technical assistance regarding the educational resources” from the New York City Department of Health. Those resources were then included in the overdose response kits.
ATCEMS is set to provide additional kits to business that have recorded more than one overdose onsite within the past 12 months, the memo added.
Additionally, APH is poised to receive a congressional directive spending allocation of $2 million via the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to aid its response to the overdose crisis. The project period is expected to run from Sept. 30 through Sept. 29, 2024, per the memo.
The expense of NARCAN will be permitted under the SAMHSA grant, the memo noted. An official funding award notice from SAMHSA is still in the works; once funding is accepted by Austin City Council, APH is expected to allocate $500,000 to ATCEMS for NARCAN training and distribution efforts.
APH’s scope of work through this grant is expected to incorporate NARCAN and training distribution collaborations with the Austin Police Department, Austin Fire Department, Austin Public Library system, Austin Parks and Recreation Department, APH and other organizations, including CapMetro.
ATCEMS will continue its work ordering, storing and distributing NARCAN to community-based organizations who’ve partnered with APH on its naloxone distribution efforts. The emergency services agency will also carry on efforts to provide NARCAN kits and training to businesses that have experienced more than one overdose within the past year.