TRAVIS COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — Just over a month after Travis County officials fleshed out plans to enhance naloxone access and trainings countywide, leaders have ordered more than 1,600 doses of naloxone to distribute to community partners.
Travis County Commissioners Court received an update on the initiative Tuesday, one of the latest efforts since the county declared drug overdoses a public health crisis on May 24. Officials have placed an order for 804 boxes of naloxone, with two doses included in each box.
Once the county receives those doses, they’ll be distributed to its nonprofit partners:
- Communities for Recovery
- Safe Haven
- Sunrise Community Church
- The Other Ones Foundation
- Texas Harm Reduction Alliance
- Trinity Center Austin
- Urban Alchemy
These partners have signed agreements with the county and undergone naloxone distribution trainings from the Austin-Travis County Emergency Medical Services. County officials are currently looking into possible online training programs for how to treat a person overdosing with the overdose-reversal drug.
The county has earmarked $175,000 specifically for its naloxone purchases. Officials added Tuesday they expect to make similar larger, 800-box purchases of the drug each quarter for five total quarters.
As of now, county leaders are waiting on their naloxone vendor to fulfill the order; once they have a shipment date, they’ll update county heads and distribute those resources to their nonprofit partners once the boxes are received.
“We’re anticipating that the 804 [boxes] is a good supply for every three months,” said Laura Peveto, division director with the Travis County Office of Children Services. “We’re going to see once we receive the first supply, place it in our community, see how quickly we go through it, and we may order more or less depending on how quickly we go through it.”
County leaders are also looking at applying for a five-year, multi-million-dollar grant to bring mobile drug treatment services to the region. Officials will meet with community medical and legal partners in the coming months to gauge interest before applying.
That grant application would be due by April 30. If Travis County is named the grant recipient, the grant would run from Sept. 30, 2023 through Sept. 29, 2028. The county would then need to envision possible funding replacement resources down the road, once the grant funding ends.
Alongside mobile treatment services, the grant would also expand access to key medications used in drug treatment and overdose prevention efforts, as well as possible counseling services.