Narcan kits, branded bags and coasters part of campaign to prevent opioid overdoses and deaths
The Erie County Department of Health and Erie County Opiate Epidemic Task Force have expanded a campaign to distribute harm reduction materials and supplies. ECDOH has contacted restaurants and bars, starting in the City of Buffalo, to offer Narcan kits and branded materials with harm reduction messages at no cost. Outreach to the rest of Erie County will continue this summer.
“As a public-facing initiative, we are grateful for the support we have already received from the business community and food service industries. This new project greatly expands our reach. Though we have been met with reluctance by a small number of restauranteurs and bar managers, that resistance is largely rooted in the stigma around substance use and overdoses. This is an opportunity to confront that stigma,” said Cheryll Moore, Opiate Epidemic Task Force director. “If having Narcan on site means that one customer, or one employee, makes it home alive after an opioid overdose, it’s completely worth it.”
Commissioner of Health Dr. Gale Burstein said, “This is a substantial effort to connect the public with important messages about preventing opioid overdoses and deaths, and how to respond to an opioid overdose. Substance use disorder is a chronic disease of the brain. If you can accept that, then you can also accept that Narcan is part of first aid in the same way that bandages or AED machines are part of a medical response.”
Restaurants and bars can request materials through an online form on the ECDOH website. Options include drink coasters, take-out bags, Narcan kits and emergency Narcan boxes. All materials are provided at no cost to the business, and arrangements will be made for pick-up or delivery.
√ Erie County Department of Health opioid trainings: www.erie.gov/opioidtrainings
√ ECDOH opioid overdose prevention campaign order form: www.erie.gov/narcansupplies