MCC Increases Narcan Availability on the Mountain Top

July 5, 2023

In an effort to combat the opioid crisis and save lives, the Mountain Top Cares Coalition (MCC) has launched a comprehensive campaign to increase the availability of Narcan/Naloxone on the mountain top. This life saving medication can reverse opioid overdoses and has the potential to make a significant difference in the community. Through monthly training programs and strategically placed Narcan Boxes, MCC aims to empower community members to respond effectively during opioid emergencies.

The Opioid Crisis and the Need for Narcan

The opioid crisis has become a pressing issue in many communities across the United States, and the mountain top region is no exception. Opioid-related overdoses and deaths have been on the rise, prompting the need for immediate action. Narcan/Naloxone is a medication that acts as an opioid antagonist, quickly reversing the effects of opioids on the body and restoring normal respiration. Similar to how an automatic electronic defibrillator (AED) can save a person with a heart condition, Narcan/Naloxone is a vital tool in helping individuals with opioid use disorder (OUD) regain control of their lives in an emergency situation.

Overdose Deaths Involving Opioids, Crude Rates/100,000 Greene County vs. NYS Excluding NYC, 2014-2021

Between 2014 and 2021, the average annual crude rate of overdose among upstate NY counties was 17.6/100,000.  The average rate in Greene County for the same time period was about 1.5 times higher than the upstate average (25.5/100,000).

In 2021, the upstate NY crude rate of overdose was 23.5 and the rate in Greene County was 46.3, almost double the average of upstate NY counties.

Training Programs and Community Empowerment

To ensure widespread awareness and access to Narcan/Naloxone, MCC organizes Narcan training programs in Greene County, NY instructing how to appropriately administer the medication for individuals, groups, and businesses wishing to prepare staff. All training attendees will be mailed a Narcan Kit to have on hand. By equipping the community with the knowledge and skills to effectively respond to opioid overdoses, this initiative aims to empower folks to respond quickly during an opioid overdose. If you would like to coordinate a Narcan training for your staff or you would like to sign up for an existing training, please reach out to us. Training can be held in-person or virtually.

Strategic Placement of Narcan Boxes

MCC is taking a proactive approach by strategically placing Community Accessible Narcan Boxes at key locations and hotspots throughout the twelve mountain top communities. These designated stations, similar to AEDs mounted on store walls, make Narcan/Naloxone easily accessible to anyone who may need it in an emergency. This initiative ensures that the medication is readily available and can be administered promptly, potentially saving precious minutes that can make a difference between life and death. 

Collaboration and Community Support

MCC's initiative to expand access to Narcan  involves collaborative efforts from various stakeholders, including law enforcement, EMTs, healthcare providers, and others invested in combating the opioid crisis. By fostering a sense of community and shared responsibility, this campaign aims to create a united front against opioid overdoses. The active involvement of these professionals, alongside trained community members, can make a significant impact in promoting public health and safety.

Greene County's Commitment to Opioid Harm Reduction

Greene County, NY was identified as a community with a high incidence of opioid-related overdoses and deaths. Recognizing the urgency of the situation, the county received funding to implement local initiatives and training programs as part of the HEALing Communities Study in collaboration with Columbia University. The MCC campaign aligns with these efforts and aims to reduce opioid deaths by 40% over the next three years.

The Impact of COVID-19 on Opioid-Related Deaths

The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated the challenges faced by individuals struggling with opioid addiction. The isolation, economic instability, and disrupted access to healthcare services have led to a surge in overdoses and deaths. However, thanks to the combined efforts of local agencies, such as Mobil Crisis and Greener Pathways, in partnership with the HEALing Communities Study, the distribution of Narcan/Naloxone can help mitigate the impact. Although overdoses increased during the pandemic, the availability of this life saving medication may prevent a corresponding increase in deaths.

Train To Administer Narcan Or Host A Narcan Box Location

Mountain Top Cares Coalition offers individuals, groups and businesses an opportunity to receive training on properly administering Narcan. Narcan kits are mailed to all training attendees so you have it on hand in case of an opioid emergency. To sign up for or coordinate a Narcan training, please reach out. Narcan training can be held in-person or virtually.

If you are the owner/director of a local business or establishment, or on the board of a local municipality on the mountaintop that would like to be a location for a community accessible Narcan Box, we would like to chat with you! Optimal locations are places that have accessibility by the public for extended hours. Some examples would be public parks, places of worship, laundromats or gas stations.


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