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Between January 2022 and January 2024, MedStar crews have treated 1,628 patients the crew believed were suffering from an overdose.  That’s an average of 2.1 patients per day.

To try and help reduce the incidence of repeat overdoses in the community, MedStar and the Recovery Resource Council have partnered on a special program designed to provide additional resources to patients who suffer an overdose. 

A MedStar Community Paramedic and a substance abuse counselor from the Recovery Resource Council follow up on overdose patients that MedStar crews treat in the field.  During the follow up visit, patients are offered substance abuse counseling and referrals to community resources. 

Families of the overdose victims are provided with Narcan, a drug that can reverse an opioid overdose, as well as CPR training.

Since the program started in December 2021:

  • 911 Responses for enrolled patients have decreased 40.9%
  • 911 Responses for suspected overdoses in enrolled patients has decreased 88.6%
  • 547 patients have been enrolled in the program.
  • 373 people or families have received program services.
  • 222 have been connected to a peer support specialist.
  • 249 families have received hands only CPR training.
  • 224 people have received a health and wellness screening and were referred to other community resources.
  • 949 Narcan kits have been provided to families.

This initiative is funded though the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.

Although the FDA made naloxone (Narcan) available over the counter (OTC) across the U.S. in 2023, OTC Narcan has been available in Texas since in June, 2016

Naloxone is a life-saving drug that, when sprayed into the nose, quickly reverses the powerful effects of opioids during an overdose. Everyone who overdoses with opioids, whether with a prescribed medicine or an illicit drug, can use naloxone.

Here is a link to a video courtesy of MedStar and the Tarrant Opioid Reduction and Recovery Initiative (TORRI) that explains the impact of overdoses, and explains how to use naloxone for a suspected overdose victim: