Emergency overdose reversals in Cass County reach ‘alarming’ levels

FARGO, N.D. (KVRR) – There’s been an extraordinary increase in the number of times naloxone, also known as “Narcan” has been used to reverse the effects of opioid overdoses in the Fargo area.

According to figures obtained from Fargo-Cass Public Health, naloxone was used to save a life 232 times during the first five months 0f 2021.  That compares to 183 uses in all of 2020 and 200 uses reported in 2019.

Substance Abuse Prevention Coordinator Robyn Litke Sall says the figures, based on voluntary self-reporting, are “alarming” and “horrible.”

Litke Sall says the increase can be linked to a combination of factors.  The COVID-19 pandemic made it more difficult for people to seek support.  Litke Sall also says more people may be willing to report when naloxone is dispensed.

The number of individual naloxone doses provided by the Fargo-Cass Public Health Syringe Services Program is also rising sharply.  Statistics show that 3,228 doses were provided during the first 5 months of 2021, which is on track to more than double the 3,582 doses distributed in 2020.  In 2019, 2,577 naloxone doses were provided.

Litke Sall says a record number 806 naloxone doses were handed out during the month of March.

In addition to naloxone, the Syringe Services Program also offers harm reduction services, education, and supplies for injecting drugs to anyone free of charge.

To get your hands on and learn how to use Narcan, contact Fargo Cass Public Health.

Find more information by clicking here.

Categories: Local News, North Dakota News