Scarce heroin antidote is now available

Buchanan Endowment to the rescue: Costly kits are out of reach for many who need them


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  • Jill Gamboni addresses the Pike commissioners (Photo by Anya Tikka)



“It’s needed in Pike County. That’s why we exist.”
Jill Gamboni, Pike County Alliance for Prevention

By Anya Tikka

— Emergency doses of Naloxone, the antidote that reverses narcotic overdoses, are available to the public on a first come, first served basis, Jill Gamboni of the Pike County Alliance for Prevention told county commissioners at a recent meeting.

The funding came from the Barbara J. Buchanan Endowment coordinated by the Greater Pike Community Foundation.

"Thanks to them, we’re able to distribute several doses of Naloxone," Gamboni said.

Because of the high cost of the drug, it’s in short supply and out of the reach of many people who need them, she said.

“I’m reaching out if anybody needs them, but I would like to give them to area ambulance corps," she said. "We have 13 kits to give out. They are very costly kits. The first kits were given out to April 20 to the Delaware Township Volunteer Ambulance Corps because they always come out and help us with our Reality Tour.”

The Reality Tour educates youngsters and their parents about drug abuse.

Commissioners Chair Matt Osterberg noted that it’s "13 lives we’re saving in the county."

He said many county residents don't have insurance.

"When organizations like Jill’s come forward with kits, it’s really a great service," he said. "We’ll make another application for grants, and if anyone wants to donate, that’s greatly appreciated. When all the community comes together to purchase these, the better off we’ll be.”

The kits, which have an expiration date, come to organizations at the discounted price of $75 per kit. The over-the-counter cost is $150.

“They extended a discount to organizations like Jill’s because it’s a community service," said Osterberg. "There’s a double doses there because most of the people who need to be treated need double doses.”

The commissioners said much of the street heroin sold these days is laced with another drug, like horse tranquilizers, which makes overdose much more serious.

The Pike County Alliance for Prevention will always look for grants, Gamboni said.

“It’s needed in Pike County," she said. "That’s why we exist.”

The alliance works to suicide prevention – any kind of prevention in the county.

The next Reality Tour was set for May 18 at the Milford Bible church. For more information contact Gamboni at 570-390-9102 or email jillgamboni@yahoo.com.


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