LAHSA Uses Naloxone to Save Lives
Drug overdoses amongst our unhoused Angelenos have been on the rise for the past seven years and have been the greatest contributor to an increase in homelessness deaths. According to the Department of Public Health, the mortality rate of overdoses jumped from 13% to 84% in 2016 to 2018 due to the surge of fentanyl ingestion across the United States.
LAHSA has been diligently working with the LA County to address the overdose crisis and has made preventative strides toward keeping unhoused residents with drug addictions safe. Naloxone has been at the forefront of these efforts and is the latest solution for individuals to help save the lives of those they encounter experiencing a drug overdose. https://www.laodprevention.org/naloxone
What is Naloxone?
Naloxone is a medication that rapidly stops an opioid overdose by reversing the effects opioids have on the brain receptors. It can be administered via a vile and syringe however, LAHSA administers the medication via a nasal spray (Narcan). When sprayed into the nose, it simultaneously blocks the opioids and reverses the effects of an overdose relieving respiratory distress and bringing the heart rate back to normalcy. Naloxone saves the lives of people experiencing overdoses and is beneficial by posing:
· No dependency risk
· Being easier to administer via Narcan nasal spray
· Being unharmful if Naloxone is used incorrectly
How is LAHSA using it?
In 2021, Los Angeles County secured 50,000 doses of Naloxone and has allocated over 6000 doses to LAHSA to distribute amongst our county partners (ie: outreach teams, shelters, access centers, permanent housing operators, etc). By the end of the fiscal year, we aim to have our community providers trained in effective distribution of Naloxone in hopes to prevent any more drug related deaths and decrease the mortality rate overtime.
For more information on Narcan/Naloxone, please visit: https://www.laodprevention.org/naloxone
Source: Mortality among People Experiencing Homelessness in Los Angeles County: One year Before and After the Start of the COVID-19 Pandemic April 2022 LAC-DPH