The Bakersfield Fire Department increased its Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) Scope of Practice to include an Intranasal Naloxone (Narcan) Program, addressing the problem related to opioid overdoses in the community.
Intranasal naloxone has proven to be an excellent method of safely administering an opioid antagonist to a person suffering an opioid overdose, intervention that could save lives.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the number of deaths from opioids has quadrupled between 1999 and 2014, accounting for 60% of all drug overdose deaths.
At least half of the opioid deaths are now from prescription narcotics, including oxycodone, hydrocodone, and methadone. The amount of these prescription narcotics sold has also quadrupled since 1999 and have accounted for 165,000 deaths during the five-year period, averaging 78 deaths each day.
The Bakersfield Fire Department implemented the program Monday, May 1, 2017.