Almost 500 doses of naloxone were distributed to Bucks County residents this past Thursday as part of a statewide initiative to help prevent opioid overdoses. This makes it the third highest county, behind Allegheny and Philadelphia counties, for a total of 6,105 throughout Pennsylvania.

Exactly 472 kits made their way into the hands of people who need it most for themselves or a loved one. Naloxone is a lifesaving drug used to reverse the effects of opioids on the brain and respiratory system, effectively preventing a lethal overdose.

“It is essential for people to have the lifesaving medication naloxone on hand,” Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said. “We are excited that Pennsylvanians are stepping up to help save lives. After the success of this event, we will work to determine if this can be done more frequently.”

More than 20,000 Pennslyvanians have had their lives saved in the past four years by naloxone. Most police forces throughout the state have access to it for emergency purposes, but not many private citizens have direct access to the medication.

“It is important that people are aware that they can also go to their local pharmacy on any day to get the overdose reversal medication naloxone,” Dr. Levine said. “This medication reverses the effects of an opioid overdose and gives the patient a chance at recovery.”

The naloxone was distributed free of charge as part of the Wolf Administration’s “Stop Overdoses in PA: Get Help Now Week.” Lower Bucks residents were able to go to Southern Bucks Recovery Community Center in Bristol for their kits while the Bucks County Drug and Alcohol Commission in Warminster served residents closer to Central Bucks.