State leaders fighting opioid epidemic with Naloxone

Posted at 10:05 PM, Oct 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-21 21:45:42-04

In 2004 Monica Forbes almost died after overdosing on methadone. She says it was Naloxone, a life-saving drug that can reverse the effects of an overdose that saved her life. 

"The next thing I knew I was waking up in the emergency room with doctors and nurses around me telling me I had overdosed," explained Monica Forbes of the PEER Wellness Center.  

Monica now helps others on their road to recovery at the PEER Wellness Center. With the risk of overdose on the rise, they and the Governor’s Office of Drug Policy teamed up to provide a free clinic to inform the public about the opioid epidemic and how to administer Naloxone. State leaders say studies show 4% of Idahoans have used opioid medicine to get high in the past year, and law enforcement is seeing more heroin on the street. A recent study by Boise State found 80% of adults in the Treasure Valley are concerned about opioid abuse. 

"We know that people are very concerned about this because it is an epidemic because the leading cause of accidental deaths across our country is now due to drug death for the first time in our nation's history," Said Nicole Fitzgerald of the Governor’s Office of Drug Policy 

Aside from informing the public, state leaders are working to fight off the drug and reduce overdose deaths. The Governor’s Office of Drug Policy  has funding available for first responders to get their hands on the life-saving drug, and you can always buy Naloxone at your local pharmacy. 

"We want people to have this drug available to them and we want people to know that if they do have an opioid dependence or an addiction there is help available," said Forbes.