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White House launches new effort to prevent opioid overdose

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

(WASHINGTON) — The White House has launched a nationwide call-to-action to save lives from opioid overdoses.

In its Wednesday announcement, the Biden-Harris Administration said it hopes the new effort will help get Naloxone, a drug meant to reverse opioid overdose, into as many communities as possible, increase training and broaden access to the drug.

“We really want to make sure that we’re flooding the zone with Naloxone, where appropriate, to ensure that everyone who needs it can get access,” White House Domestic Policy Advisor Neera Tanden said on a call with reporters.

The administration said it is encouraging businesses and organizations to join the effort, train their employees and make Naloxone readily available to both customers and employees in their community.

More than 100,000 people died from an overdose in 2023, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Last year for the first time, the Food and Drug Administration approved two Naloxone nasal sprays for over-the-counter use.

With funding from the Department of Health and Human Services, the administration has delivered free life saving medications across the country preventing more than 600,000 overdose deaths and delivered nearly 10 million Naloxone kits, Tanden said.

A senior administration official said what they’ve done so far is “not nearly enough” and hope this call-to-action will help save even more lives.

“We’re committed to working with communities and those who sign up through this challenge to identify the resources necessary to be able to deliver those Naloxone kits,” a senior official said.

“But we’re also hoping that members of the private sector community can step up and do their part and help provide avenues to ensure access to their workforce and to their communities to keep people safe.”

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