GREEN COVE SPRINGS, Fla. – After five years of increased usage of the opioid overdose treatment drug Narcan from 2013 to 2017, Clay County and Green Cove Springs officials are reporting a decrease in use of the drug during 2018.
The use of Narcan for opioid overdose reached a high of 517 in 2017, marking a 45 percent increase within five years.
However, within the first six months of this year, officials said the number has dropped to 173.
Green Cove Springs, which had a 54 percent increase in the use of the drug from 2015 to 2017 at 79 treatments, has seen those numbers drop to 14 treatments in 2018.
Clay County Fire Chief Lorin Mock said even with the drop in Narcan treatments, cardiac deaths from opioid overdose after treatment has increased by 49 percent in the last five years.
Green Cove Springs police Chief Derek Ascot cited drugs such as marijuana laced with opiates and fentanyl as a factor.
Several participants of the Orange Park Medical Center panel said they are working on offering opioid overdose patients a broader variety of resources at the center in the future.
“Bringing an opioid substance abuse resource program to our patients and our community is a top priority for Orange Park Medical Center,” said Steve Goodfriend, Emergency Services medical director. “In the future, we look forward to having a program in place that would provide real-time rehab resources in the emergency room as these patients are being treated."