HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) - Every day, more than 130 people in the United States die from overdosing on opioids.
Narcan is a life-saving medication that can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose.
“It’s not the cure all, it’s not the end all but hopefully if they do unfortunately overdose, they can be resuscitated and maybe that will be the day they’ve decided enough is enough,” said Dr. Steven Wolf, Chairman of Emergency Medicine at St. Francis Hospital.
Thanks to a federal grant, all emergency departments in Connecticut now have Narcan kits that can be given to patients once they’re discharged from the hospital.
A lot of overdoses are accidental, so getting Narcan in the hands of those most at risk can help cut down on the number of deadly overdoses.
“It’s really critical that its available to them out in the community to save their lives if they overdose,” said Robin Nichols, Manager for Crisis Service at St. Francis Emergency Department.
A lot of overdoses are accidental. So, getting Narcan in the hands of those most at risk can help cut down on the number of deadly overdoses.
Nearly 6,000 doses of Narcan have been ordered and are being delivered to emergency departments across the state and folks at St. Francis say its making a difference.
It's especially important for patients who don't want to stay and receive treatment.
But Narcan is just part of the solution.
Recovery coaches are also helping patients along their path to recovery.
“What we do is we go in and try to make a connection with that person and give them some hope and let them know there’s hope and there’s a different way,” said Barry Richardson, Emergency Room Recovery Coach.
The coaches have lived experience, meaning they are also people in recovery and can talk to patients about treatment options.
Katie Siekiera has been free of her opioid addiction for 11 years now.
“It is my mission to help other people. To let them know that recovery is possible, and hope is possible,” said Siekiera, emergency room recovery coach.
Barry Ricahrdson said the hardest part of being an addict is losing hope.
"Being a person in recovery, I can identify with some of the feelings, some of the fears, some of the not knowing there's help available," said Richardson.
The program is available in 12 hospitals throughout the state and has been largely successful in connecting people to treatment.
Doctors say more public awareness is also key to helping lower rates of opioid addiction.