Contact: Bri Eichstaedt, REHS/RS, Health Director
EASTHAMPTON HEALTH DEPARTMENT LAUNCHES NALOXBOX PROGRAM
In partnership with the Healthy Youth Coalition and Hampshire HOPE, the Easthampton Health Department is launching a NaloxBox program in the city on May 2, 2022. A NaloxBox is a small, clear box labeled "Opioid Rescue Kit" that is mounted on the wall and contains three doses of Naloxone (commonly known as Narcan), a medication designed to reverse an opioid overdose. Each box is equipped with a rescue-breathing mask, medical gloves, and step-by-step instructions. If possible, NaloxBoxes should be mounted next to an Automated Electronic Defibrillator (AED).
To start, NaloxBoxes will be mounted in City Hall, the Emily Williston Public Library, Mountain View School, and the Easthampton High School. The program will eventually be offered and expanded to local organizations and businesses. The purpose of the boxes is to provide Naloxone in public, accessible locations in the event of an overdose. It is important to note that using Naloxone has no adverse side effects, including if one were to use it accidentally on a person who is not experiencing an overdose.
According to statistics received from the Easthampton Police Department, between 2018 and March of 2022, there were 89 overdoses in Easthampton. Of those 89 overdoses, 14 individuals died as a result. Between 2020 and 2021, 22 overdoses occurred in public locations. Health Director Bri Eichstaedt comments, "I'm so grateful to have the ability to bring NaloxBoxes to Easthampton through our partnership with the Healthy Youth Coalition and Hampshire HOPE. Harm reduction is a proactive and evidence-based approach to addressing substance use. This is a small step in addressing the opioid epidemic; our goal is to continue outreach, education, prevention, and harm reduction measures in Easthampton. Having Naloxone available immediately can significantly increase the chances of saving a life while waiting for first responders, especially when seconds matter." Healthy Youth Coalition Coordinator Rebecca Edwards adds, "counterfeit pills today can be cut with extremely dangerous substances such as fentanyl, which can lead to accidental death from just one pill. Despite our best efforts, youth sometimes can gain access to illicit substances and are not always aware of the dangers. By taking this proactive approach and making Naloxone accessible, the City of Easthampton is creating a safer environment for all of its residents."
Businesses and organizations interested in having a NaloxBox or Naloxone training can contact the Health Department at (413) 529-1400 ext. 430.