AUSTIN, Texas - The Austin City Council unanimously passed a resolution to prioritize funding and resources to purchase Naloxone, also referred to as "Narcan," a medicine that can be used to rapidly treat a fentanyl overdose.
City Council member Mackenzie Kelly brought forward Item #43 during the Thursday, April 13 meeting. The resolution aims to purchase Narcan, as well as distribute the overdose reversal kits while providing training on its use.
Narcan works by reversing the effects of opioids, allowing individuals who have overdosed to regain consciousness and breathe normally.
Studies indicate the medicine can reduce opioid overdose deaths by up to 50 percent.
Council member Kelly aims to ensure that Austin Travis County EMS has consistent and reliable funding for acquiring opioid overdose reversal medication for staff to use in the event of an opioid overdose.
Kelly also aims to distribute and train community partners and local business owners on how to use and administer Narcan, particularly in the areas of Austin where opioid use is highest.
"With the opioid epidemic affecting many parts of the country, including Austin, Narcan has become an increasingly important tool for first responders to save lives," council member Kelly said. "Narcan can even be administered by members of the public who have been trained to use it correctly and when they have access to it. By quickly reversing the effects of an oversode, Narcan can prevent fatalities and give individuals a second chance at recovery and life."
The resolution comes as authorities at the state and local level push to make Narcan more available to treat fentanyl and other opioid overdoses.
- Over 3.1M lethal doses of fentanyl seized during traffic stop in Mission
- Texas fentanyl crisis discussion to be held with state lawmakers
- 2 arrested in connection to fentanyl poisoning of Georgetown High School student
- Round Rock ISD holds awareness event to warn parents, students of fentanyl crisis
Williamson County officials have made a renewed push to make the overdose-reversal drug more available in schools, and Gov. Greg Abbott recently announced a $10M fentanyl outreach campaign and statewide distribution of Narcan.
The City Manager is directed to return to the Public Safety Committee with an update regarding Naloxone funding and resources no later than July 28, 2023.