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MetroHealth teaming up with local non-profit to install 'NaloxBoxes' to reduce fatal overdoses

The two organizations hope to install up to 100 boxes across the county.

CUYAHOGA COUNTY, Ohio — *Editor's Note: The video in the player above is from a previous report.

MetroHealth has teamed up with the  Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services (ADAMHS) Board of Cuyahoga County for an initiative that they hope reduces the number of fatal overdoses in the Northeast Ohio.

“The opioid epidemic has continued to rage through the COVID pandemic, and in many ways has gotten worse,” said Dr. Joan Papp, director of MetroHealth’s Office of Opioid Safety. “Making Naloxone easily available in the community will save lives. Anyone can turn their life around with treatment but first, they have to survive their overdose.”

The two organizations have already begun installing "NaloxBoxes," or boxes filled with Narcan throughout Cuyahoga county. Each NaloxBox contains two doses of Naloxone and directions on how to deliver the opioid-reversal drug through a nasal spray. 

The boxes, modeled after AED defibrillators in public buildings, will be available at several locations, including some public buildings, hunger centers, homeless shelters, rehabilitation centers and other places. 

 “The public is focused on the pandemic, but the Opioid Epidemic has not gone away. In fact, it has been exacerbated by the pandemic and we have seen a drastic increase in overdose deaths as a result,” said Scott S. Osiecki, Chief Executive Officer of the ADAMHS Board. “These deaths are not statistics, these are our family and community members. Having public access to naloxone will help to reduce deaths related to opioid overdose in Cuyahoga County. Lives can be saved through these efforts and as long as people are alive, they have a chance for recovery.”

The first four were installed last week. Those behind the "NaloxBoxes" hope to distribute up to 100 boxes. 

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*Editor's Note: The video in the player above is from a previous report.