WEST SPRINGFIELD – The West Springfield Health Department has received a donation to help fight opioid overdoses. Kaleo, a pharmaceutical company in Richmond, VA, donated 200 EVZIO naloxone auto-injectors to the town.
EVZIO is used for the emergency treatment of an opioid overdose. The packages come with a trainer injector and two doses, as well as directions, according to Director of Public Health Jeanne Galloway.
The trainer, she said, is similar to an auto injector for an EpiPen. It talks a person through the process of administering the medicine.
Galloway said she would encourage the people who take advantage of the program to practice using the EVZIO auto injector to get comfortable with it.
“The more you get comfortable with this, when you need to use it an emergency, you’ll be able to use it,” Galloway said. “Young kids can do this. Almost any age can use this. It’s not difficult at all.”
The EVZIO packages are being inventoried and are available in the Health Department for those who want them. Those who take EVZIO packages can do so without giving a name or address, and they are available to the public. Galloway said she encouraged friends and families of those battling addiction to come in and get a package.
Mayor Edward Sullivan said that although the town has emphasized prevention and education through its partnership with the CARE Coalition, a program like this will ultimately save lives of those who are battling opioid addiction.
“It’s an opportunity to help that wasn’t there before. Hopefully if there is a family struggling, they take advantage of this,” Sullivan said. “We’re trying to address this crisis that is nation-wide. We need to strongly emphasis prevention and collaborative efforts.”
Program Director of the CARE Coalition Christine Viens said the addition of the EVZIO program adds another asset to West Springfield’s fight against addition.
“The primary focus of CARE is prevent, reducing risk factors and increasing protective factors,” Viens said. “This is just one more layer to support recovery.”
State Rep. Michael Finn worked to get the donation to the town and said West Springfield is the first community in the area to have “something like this” as a resource.
“I think it says a lot about the community and the collaboration with industries and the Legislature and bringing programming to West Springfield that could potentially save a life,” Finn said. “Saving the life is the first step in battling the addiction.”
EVZIO packages can be picked up from the Health Department on the second floor of Town Hall. For questions or more information, contact Galloway at 263-3206 or email@example.com. For more information about the CARE Coalition, visit www.01089cares.com.