Excerpted from news media and Adapt Pharma.com

Narcan Nasal Spray 4mg, the first and only FDA-approved Naloxone nasal spray for emergency treatment of opioid overdose, is being donated to law enforcement and first responders among others through the month of July 2016.

Narcan is an antidote that targets the brain receptors affected by opiate drugs like heroin. When administered, it can reverse the depression of the central nervous system, respiratory system, and hypo tension in a matter of seconds. “It blocks those receptors. It’s going to block off the high immediately,” said Kyle McKenzie, a paramedic with Pro Med.

If given to someone who isn’t experiencing an overdose, the drug becomes benign and has virtually no effect or side effects, according to Narcan drug makers, Adapt Pharma, Limited.

Adapt Pharma planned to donate 25,000 cartons of the life-saving drug to public safety and other community partners including Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative (P.A.A.R.I.), the Harm Reduction Coalition (HRC), and the Clinton Health Matters Initiative. In January, through a partnership with Clinton Health Matters Initiative, high schools were also offered a free carton of Narcan.

“This device will equip those in our communities - families, friends, caregivers and school nurses - with a tool they can rely on without need for medical training or expertise,” according to a statement from Mike Kelly, president of U.S. Operations at Adapt Pharma.

Adapt also offered donated product to city law enforcement agencies across the country who have been hit hardest by opioid-related overdoses. Naloxone can be administered intravenously or through a nasal spray.

“Having launched our recently FDA-approved Narcan Nasal Spray, this donation is intended to both raise awareness and expand access and user experience with this ready-to-use emergency opioid overdose treatment,” said Seamus Mulligan, Chairman and CEO of Adapt Pharma. “Potential users include first responders, such as police officers, as well as patients’ friends, family and loved ones. Each of these partner organizations brings unique resources and outlets to connect the donated product with these potential overdose witnesses.”

Drug overdoses are on the rise, especially those involving heroin and prescription painkillers in West Michigan. In 2015 in Muskegon, first responders were averaging one overdose call per day and overdoses in Ottawa County had quadrupled the past five years, according to Lt. Andy Fias, with the Michigan State Police West Michigan Enforcement Team (WEMET).

“For sure our worst problem is up here in Muskegon County. You can go out and buy the same $20 worth of heroin and get more heroin and a better high than what you’ll get off a $20 purchase, whether it’s morphine or oxycodone,” Fias said. “And we’re trying to get a handle on that.”

McKenzie said paramedics have been equipped with Naloxone for years with successful results. He said being able to administer the drug is one of the most rewarding calls to make as a paramedic. “You’re bringing someone who was minutes from death right around and saving their life,” McKenzie said.

Since 2014, every first responder in the state, including police, firefighters and basic EMTs, are required to have Naloxone after legislation was passed and signed by Gov. Rick Snyder. McKenzie said that’s important since paramedics aren’t always the first to arrive to an overdosing call. “If we’re not there to give it to them and someone can do it quicker, we’re going to save more lives,” McKenzie said.

“While a key component of opioid abuse is treatment and rehabilitation, many users need that second chance at life to enter into long-term addiction treatment and recovery,” said John E. Rosenthal, P.A.A.R.I. Co-founder and Chairman of the Board of Directors. “From police, to harm reduction groups, to NGOs and so on, increased access to Naloxone across all stakeholders can give people that second chance and help reduce the number of opioid-related deaths in the United States.”

However, Narcan has gotten more expensive, according to Tom Schmiedeknecht, president of ProMed. Each kit can range between $60 to $100 or more. “There have been shortages now of Narcan and also a price increase. It’s gone up twice,” Schmiedeknecht told FOX 17 in 2015. “With us implementing new medications and training, that increases costs to the agencies to make sure their staff knows what they’re supposed to be doing.”

The Naloxone law also allows family members of known addicts to receive a prescription to have on hand. Some critics have argued it could encourage addicts to exploit the drug and Schmiedeknecht warns the potential of the drug is not a solution to the larger problem of addiction. Narcan makers have warnings on the drug containers that it is not a substitute for emergency medical care.

For more information on Narcan, call Adapt Pharma Customer Service at 844-4-NARCAN (844-462-7226) or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit www.adaptpharma.com