NATICK (CBS) – Natick is one of four communities in Massachusetts offering free Naloxone kits for residents. Those with loved ones struggling with addiction say simply having these kits is a stress-reliever and a way to save countless lives.
“We have to keep them alive,” said Natick Public Health Director Jim White. “No matter how much it takes; no matter how long it takes.”
The Natick Health Department is taking steps to get the overdose reversal drug Narcan into more hands by offering free kits to residents free of charge.
“These are four milligram doses of Narcan, double doses, that are in each one of the kits,” White explains.
Fifteen minutes is all it takes to learn how to administer the drug. It’s a powerful tool, but it’s also bittersweet.
“The symptoms of addiction are very, very painful for parents and siblings,” said Eileen Collett.
More than 1,900 Massachusetts residents died from an opioid overdose last year. Those with loved ones struggling with opioid addiction say they’re forced to take matters into their own hands to save a life.
“Most of them live at home, and most of them use the drug by themselves in their bedroom,” Collett said. “So the best place to have it is in the home.”
This $40,000 pilot program is making it easier for residents to step in in an event of an overdose.
“Helps to decrease the stigma,” said Cheryl Lucenta. “It helps people to realize that it’s OK – my community wants to help.”
Right now, the free kits are only available in Ashland, Hudson, Framingham and Natick, but the goal is to expand this program throughout the state.