Tenn. free Naloxne distribution program saves 2,000+ lives

Apr 2, 2019

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (OSBORNE)  --  State officials say the lives of at least 2,000 Tennesseans have been saved thanks to free distribution of the overdose medication Naloxone.

The state says it’s now distributed more than 70,000 doses of Naloxone through its Regional Overdose Prevention Specialists (ROPS). The specialists also conduct training on how to recognize the signs of overdose and administer the medication.

Training is provided without charge to police, EMT’s and other first responders. Family members, employers, community group, or anyone who may have contact with addicted individuals can ask for training and free Naloxone.

Matthew Parriott with the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services says those most at risk are also eligible.

“People who personally believe they are at risk for overdose and want to get trained on how to use Naloxone, how to carry it, they are able to attend these trainings.”

Troy Tayse, is a Paramedic-Engineer with the Murfreesboro Fire Department. He says overdoses tend to come in waves. He says it’s not unusual to see four or five overdoses within days or even hours.  

Tayse says Naloxone can revive a person who’s stopped breathing almost immediately.

“From a few seconds up to five minutes later depending on how much they’ve taken they’ll wake up and be totally with it. …and go from basically being dead to being wide awake. It’s quite amazing the way that drug works.”

Tayse says addiction is now an equal opportunity killer, snaring Tennesseans from all walks of life.

Woud you like to learn more about the ROPS program?