Alexandria Reacts to Serious Opioid Crisis

 

Narcan (Courtesy Photo).

Emily Bentley Selected as City’s Opioid Response Coordinator and Free Narcan is Available

From Del Ray to Old Town to the West End, the consequences of opioid misuse and addiction are being felt by people throughout our community. City staff are working together to respond locally to this crisis through the Opioid Work Group (OWG), and has recently selected Emily Bentley, LPC, as the Opioid Response Coordinator, a new position created by the Alexandria City Council to lead the City’s response to the local effects of the national opioid epidemic.

Bentley will provide strategic direction to the City’s multidimensional approach to the crisis, which focuses on five key areas: prevention and education, addiction treatment, overdose response and recovery, diversion into treatment, and supply reduction and law enforcement strategies.

Gretchen Bulova (Photo: City of Alexandria).

Bentley has significant experience managing and providing direct clinical services to persons with substance use disorders. Most recently, she managed the City’s substance use residential treatment programs. In addition, Bentley served on the state-wide workgroup that developed the REVIVE training curriculum, which provides basic opioid education and training to administer Naloxone, a medicine that can save the life of someone overdosing. REVIVE trainings are available to community members, professionals and anyone interested in knowing more about opioids and overdose reversal. Bentley is a native Alexandrian with strong ties to the community.

What About Narcan®?

On April 5, 2018, the US surgeon general issued an advisory recommending that Americans carry Narcan, the opioid overdose-reducing drug. Narcan® (also known as Naloxone) is a safe, effective antidote for opioids. It can stop an overdose and restore normal breathing until emergency response can arrive. It is easy to get and easy to use.

This medication is not just for people with an opioid dependence or addiction. If you or a loved one are prescribed opioid painkillers, or are taking opioids, you should have Narcan on hand. Opioid overdose death rates were reduced by half in communities providing access to Narcan.

Where Can I Get Narcan?

AT YOUR LOCAL PHARMACY.

In response to the opioid epidemic in Virginia, the State Health Commissioner has issued a standing order allowing all Virginians to obtain Narcan without a prescription. 94% of insured lives in the U.S. have coverage for Narcan, and most insurances offer a co-pay of $10 or less for the prescription.

FREE AT ALEXANDRIA HEALTH DEPARTMENT.

Alexandria Health Department is offering FREE Narcan and Narcan counseling to ANY interested member of the public. Call 703.746.4888 to make an appointment or walk-in to any of the clinics at 4480 King Street during regular business hours: M-F 8 A.M.-4:30 P.M.; Th. 12:45-4:30 P.M.

Narcan® is: 1) Not a substitute for emergency medical care; 2) Repeated doses may be necessary; 3) Designed for community use outside of a medical setting; 4) A single dose device is ready for rapid deployment by a bystander with no specialized training.

For more information about Opioid Addiction Treatment services and the steps the City is taking to protect residents from the opioid epidemic, please visit alexandriava.gov/Opioids.

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