It’s almost the end of Mental Health Month in May 2020. And frankly — it could not have come at a better time this year, with everyone sheltering in place, losing work, and every day turning into ‘Blursday,’ we definitely need to address the mental and behavioral health issues that have been brought to the forefront of our country at this very difficult time of the COVID-19 pandemic.
That being said, there’s a lot to unpack with depression and anxiety on the increase around the world. But, there’s another pandemic afoot, right here in Indiana too and elsewhere, that very few are talking about: skyrocketing naloxone use.
Naloxone is an opioid antagonist, used to counter the effects of opioid overdose. Opioids include heroin, oxycodone, and fentanyl.
What’s scary is that while everyone was focused on the coronavirus, naloxone use has been skyrocketing in certain pockets of the US, including pockets of Indiana. Jennifer Sullivan, secretary of the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration announced recently that more naloxone was used in April 2020 than any other month in the state’s history. Jefferson County had a 95% increase in use of naloxone.
The next step after putting a problem in the spotlight is to turn that light onto solutions for fixing the problem. So, I will provide some solutions below on where to get naloxone and/or help, should you or a family member need it below.
PLEASE NOTE: naloxone is NOT a cure for opioid overdose or addiction. It only temporarily counters the effects of opioids. Patients who overdose and use naloxone must also seek treatment from a healthcare provider immediately.
Where to Find Naloxone:
- Indiana Tracker for Finding Naloxone — you can find a local source for naloxone using the interactive Indiana map from the Indiana State Department of Health, here.
- Call 2–1–1–2–1–1 is a free and confidential service that helps Hoosiers across Indiana find the local resources they need. Dial 2–1–1 to connect with a navigator. We’re here for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
- Outside of Indiana for Naloxone — you can search here for help.
Where to Find Treatment or Help, In General:
- Finding Treatment Nationally — this page from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has a bunch of resources.
- The Suicide Prevention Lifeline, and their phone number is: 1–800–273-TALK (8255).
- National Treatment Helpline — SAMHSA also can help you find treatment at: 1–800–662-HELP (4357) or at their website.
Here’s the ending of this post (and the good news): Jennifer Sullivan mentioned in this post that Hoosiers who call 2–1–1 will get help: “Please keep calling. We are here.”
Let’s take care of each other out there…in May, in Indiana, and out, and all year ‘round.
Erin L. Albert is pharmacy benefit practice lead at Apex Benefits. Opinions are her own, but facts are cited and linked in the post above.