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Narcan Shortage In New Haven After Spate Of Overdoses

Mel Evans

Connecticut’s Department of Health said they’re sending 700 new doses of naloxone, or Narcan, to New Haven on Friday. That’s because the city’s first responders nearly ran out of the opioid antidote Thursday night when police believed at least 16 people had overdosed from fentanyl in the previous 48 hours.

Fentanyl is a medical opioid that’s much, much stronger than heroin. So when firefighters and paramedics revived the victims, they often had to use more than one dose of Naloxone—the lifesaving antidote which can reverse an opioid overdose.

New Haven Assistant Fire Chief Matt Macarelli says some victims “were given three, four, fie doses of the antidote kit to attempt to revive them. Because whatever the product was that we were dealing with was stronger than what we were typically encountering.”

Thursday night near midnight, New Haven’s police department said the city’s supply of naloxone was critically low, but Macarelli says the fire department worked with Yale-New Haven Hospital and local paramedics to make sure they had enough naloxone to get through the night.  

Kathie is a former editor at WSHU.