In early April, the U.S. Surgeon General urged individuals and families at risk of opioid abuse to keep a medication on hand that reverses the effects of an overdose. This is the first surgeon general’s public health advisory in 13 years reflecting growing concern about the scope of an epidemic that has grown exponentially in the last 15 years. is a new website funded by AHRQ to help individuals, public health departments, schools or community organizations find sources of naloxone, a prescription medication that can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. The site is designed to help anyone identify a pharmacy carrying the drug while also providing tools for organizations conducting campaigns around overdose prevention and naloxone advocacy, outreach and communication.

At the recent Day of Prevention event in North Dakota, Dr. Missy Henke, Heartview Foundation Medical Director, Bismarck, ND, who is immersed in efforts to reduce deaths from the opioid crisis, addressed the gathering in relation to the availability of naloxone. She stated, “We need more Narcan. We need to take our blinders off and realize this is happening in our hometowns. The Surgeon General issued a public health advisory last week for the first time since 2005 declaring, ‘We need more Narcan.’” Dr. Henke continued, “We need moms, dads, brothers, sisters, everyone to carry more Narcan. That’s how we’re going to impact lives.”

The Great Plains QIN is partnering with providers, pharmacists and stakeholders in the region to address the opioid crisis by offering educational events and sharing tools and resources throughout our care coordination communities.

Upcoming Educational Event
Join us on May 24, 2018, at 12:15 p.m. for the webinar: “Naloxone and Its Role in Prevention of Opioid Overdose Death” with guest presenter, Elizabeth Skoy, PharmD, Associate Professor of Pharmacy Practice, North Dakota State University School of Pharmacy, Fargo, ND. Dr. Skoy will assist participants in understanding the role of naloxone in preventing opioid overdose-related death as well as how to identify individuals who may benefit from possessing naloxone. She will also describe and differentiate between available naloxone dosage forms. Click here for more information.