Opioid pilot program could expand to other Jacksonville hospitals

Bill would expand Project Save Lives to 2 more emergency departments

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – As the battle against the opioid epidemic continues, a pilot program that has helped 48 drug users could expand to other hospitals.

Dr. Raymond Pomm, the creator of Project Save Lives, said he will ask the Jacksonville City Council on Tuesday night to expand the pilot program, which offers immediate treatment for overdose patients, to two more emergency departments in Jacksonville. 

Bill 2018-253 has already passed two committees. Funding would come from the money the pilot program was given last year.

Pomm's request comes at a time when the rate of overdose calls continues to slow down, but people are still dying of drug overdoses.

According to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, drugs are being trafficked from Texas via Mexico, Miami, the Ohio Valley and across Pennsylvania. Police said Jacksonville is also a destination site for drug drop offs.

As far as the pilot program, which is housed at  St. Vincent's Medical Center Riverside, 87 people have been eligible. Of those people, five people died prior to getting help. Sixty-three accepted peer services, but 48 of those people are active in the entire program. 

The City Council is expected to discuss the bill at its meeting Tuesday evening. 

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