Iowa HHS expands free naloxone program to schools
The Iowa Department of Health of Human Services announced it is expanding its initiative to provide naloxone, an opioid overdose reversal medication, to Iowa organizations, businesses and schools, which may be in a position to render aid to a person at risk of experiencing an opioid overdose. Since February, HHS has offered eligible organizations and businesses free naloxone nasal spray kits. Now the program is expanding to include schools. The purpose of this initiative is to equip organizations, businesses and schools, in the event that their employees, agents or volunteers encounter someone experiencing a suspected opioid overdose. Although Iowa is considered a low-incidence state compared with many others, the increases in opioid-related deaths are concerning, with 258 official records of opioid-related deaths in Iowa for 2021, up from 157 in 2019 and 213 in 2020. HHS’ State Opioid Response office was recently awarded $9,083,075 per year for two years to provide treatment and recovery programs for an estimated 1,100 people. In addition, the program will provide prevention and harm reduction services to more than 11,000 people. Click here to view eligibility information and program requirements.