A local organization is hoping their efforts will help save lives in the ongoing opioid abuse crisis.
Eye of Hope Recovery Advocates is placing Narcan stations throughout Holmes, Washington, and Walton counties with help from a grant from the Department of Children and Families.
Narcan is used for emergency treatment of opioid overdoses.
Currently, two stations have been placed, but ten more are ready to be installed.
The first two stations are at ZENsations Salon and Spa, located at 682 Fifth Street in Chipley and Caring and Sharing of Walton County, located at 1122 North Ninth Street in Defuniak Springs.
The stations hold boxes with Narcan doses inside and instructions on how to administer the medicine.
There is also a CPR mask inside in case life-saving measures are needed. The boxes are sealed to avoid children from opening them. Anyone needing to make use of the contents are asked to call 911 before administering the drug.
Narcan lasts 30-90 minutes but after that, overdose symptoms will return. Officials state it is essential to get the person to the emergency department as soon as possible, preferably in an ambulance.
Those assisting in saving a life by calling 911 and administering aid are protected under Florida’s Good Samaritan Act.
Eye of Hope President Samantha Peacock says the presence of these stations could be the difference between life and death.
“If we can help save one person from overdosing, the Narcan stations have done what they are meant to do,” said Peacock. “We only have two up currently, but it is better than the alternative. Baby steps are still steps, and as long as there is breath, there is hope.”
According to the Florida Department of Health, six fatal overdoses occurred in Holmes County and four in Washington County in 2020.
Eye of Hope Vice President Jennifer Losee says even one overdose death is “one too many.”
“With the help of local sponsors, we can place these stations where anyone who needs help can find it,” said Losee.
Stephanie Mcminn, Founder of Be Generous, Inc., has sponsored three of the boxes in memory of her son, Gage, who passed away from overdose.
Peacock says sponsorship of a station is $100 and covers the cost of the box and everything inside, aside from the Narcan and the signage that accompanies.
Peacock says once more stations are placed, there will be a map to show the locations on their Facebook page.
“We are currently working on a map that will list where the stations are,” said Peacock. “We will update the map as more stations are placed.”
Losee says local businesses, churches and community partners are needed as locations for the stations. “Ideally we would like to place them at small, local businesses, even churches, or parks – anywhere that is easily accessible.”
For more information, or to sponsor a Narcan box, call Peacock at 850-768-3570 or Losee at 850-768-0520. Find them on Facebook by searching “Eye Of Hope Recovery Advocates.”