JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Overdose 911 calls are dropping in Jacksonville as health officials continue to fight against opioid addiction, according to the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department.
The positive news from the Fire-Rescue came Thursday as the city enters into its fourth month of "Project Save Lives."
The pilot program to help rehabilitate drug users began at St. Vincent's Medical Center Riverside and expanded to its Southside location last week.
Thirty people are currently enrolled in the program.
Jacksonville City Councilman Bill Gulliford, who leads the pilot program, said they will expand it again this year.
"I think we started out saying, 'If we save one life, we have done something great,'" Gulliford said. "I think we are starting to see a lot more lives saved and will see a lot more lives saved in the future. The program has been very successful."
According to JFRD, when it first started reporting overdose 911 calls in November 2016, paramedics were responding to a call at least every two hours. Now, JFRD said, it is treating an overdose patient every three and a half hours, and the number of overdose calls has been steadily dropping since October. Fire-Rescue said that's the lowest rate of overdose 911 calls in more than a year.