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Campaign aims to expand use of opioid reverse medication

March 27, 2021 GMT

GLOUCESTER, Mass. (AP) — A group of nonprofits and communities north of Boston has started a campaign to get members of the general public to carry the opioid overdose medication Narcan.

First responders have long carried it, but the new campaign, Carry A Lifeline, is encouraging members of the general public to obtain Narcan Nasal Spray to keep in their homes or businesses or even with them wherever they go.

“It’s about letting folks know that this is just like learning CPR or First Aid, that if you happen to be in a situation where someone needs Narcan you would have it,” Jennifer Beloff, director of client and housing services for Action Inc., a Gloucester-based anti-poverty agency, told The Boston Globe.

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The campaign, backed by seven municipalities and overseen by Action, Inc., includes signs on Cape Ann Transportation Authority buses and bus shelters, and train platforms in Beverly, Ipswich, and Manchester, and a billboard in Danvers.

In addition to potentially saving lives, putting Narcan in the hands of the general public will reduce the stigma associated with the medication.

Amy Epstein, director of the Regional Prevention Center, said opioid users and family members often feel embarrassed asking for Narcan at the pharmacy because of negative attitudes around substance abuse.