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University of Minnesota Extension

Learn how naloxone saves lives

Deaths due to opioid-related overdoses in Minnesota have increased nearly every year since 2000. In 2020, more than 670 people in Minnesota lost their lives to an overdose. University of Minnesota Extension has been partnering with other universities, Tribal nations and public health agencies on a community capacity building approach to addressing the opioid crisis in rural counties.

Naloxone, which can come in an injectable or nasal spray form, is an important way of addressing opioid overdoses in Minnesota. Naloxone is a type of medication that can prevent death due to an opioid overdose. 

Dr. Laura Palombi, a professor at the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy — Duluth, notes in a webinar that naloxone can help a person experiencing an overdose to begin to breathe again and seek medical care. Common signs of an overdose include: slow or no breathing, no movement, bluish lips and an inability to wake the person.

Training and access to naloxone could help prevent overdose deaths. The Minnesota Department of Health has released a new tool to help Minnesotans find pharmacies and other locations that distribute naloxone.The new page, called NaloxoneFinder, includes an interactive map where users can input their zip code and find a nearby site to get the medication. By February 2022, only two months after release, more than 4,600 users had visited the site.

To learn more about how naloxone can save lives, view Dr. Palombi’s mini-course on the Community-based Opioid Prevention and Education website.

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