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Photo by Miguel Gutierrez Jr./KUT

Travis County secures nearly 10,000 doses of life-saving overdose drug naloxone

Tuesday, October 25, 2022 by Andrew Weber, KUT

Travis County has secured a bulk order of the life-saving drug naloxone in an effort to prevent opioid deaths. The shipment comes after the county issued an emergency declaration triggered by a record-high number of overdoses related to fentanyl last year.

At an announcement Monday, Austin Public Health Authority Dr. Desmar Walkes said the county had secured 9,900 doses of naloxone, which counteracts the effects of an opioid overdose. She said she hopes pharmacies in Travis County request the drug.

“We are urging all pharmacies to request stocks of naloxone and for their shelves so that it will be more accessible in our community,” she said. “We must address the systemic issues that are leading to the opioid abuse problem that we see in our country and in our county.”

The doses were provided to the county by the nonprofit humanitarian aid group Direct Relief and will be distributed locally by the Texas Harm Reduction Alliance.

Earlier this year, both Austin City Council and Travis County officials declared a public health crisis after the county saw a record-high number of accidental overdoses last year.

There were 308 fatal overdoses in Travis County last year. Nearly 120 of those deaths involved fentanyl, compared to 35 in 2020.

This story was produced as part of the Austin Monitor’s reporting partnership with KUT.

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