BALTIMORE (WJZ) — With drug overdoses flooding communities, some are responding by pouring Narcan into as many hands as possible.
Four Klein’s ShopRite pharmacies in Harford County are giving out free doses of Narcan nasal spray until July 1, or while supplies last.
Narcan reverses the effects of heroin and is given to people suffering from overdoses.
The participating locations are Main Street in Bel Air, Festival of Bel Air, Forest Hill and Aberdeen.
The pilot program is part of an effort by the Harford Local Addictions Authority which is a branch of the Health Department of Harford County.
“This is a pilot project by the state to saturate the county with life-saving Narcan, because we’re experiencing an epidemic of opioid deaths and overdoses,” said Paula Nash, with the Harford County Health Department.
Harford has the third highest number of overdoses in the state. Last year, there were 320 overdoses from opioids, with 77 fatalities. An increase of 73 percent. So far this year, there have been 44 overdoses and 8 deaths.
This comes during a nationwide opioid epidemic. Governor Larry Hogan declared a state of emergency in Maryland in March 2017. Harford County had over 80 fatal opioid related overdoses last year.