ND Department of Human Services to hand out opioid reversal drug at State Fair

Published: Jul. 21, 2019 at 2:45 PM CDT
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UPDATE: The North Dakota Department of Human Services will be handing out Naloxone for the rest of the state fair after hearing stories from North Dakotans about their experiences with overdoses.

Pam Sagness with the department says it's given out 90 packs of the reversal drug. Sagness says leaders made a decision after people shared both good and bad stories, including one person who lost a friend the day before showing up to the booth.

“When we get to hear back stories of the individuals who've been saved, it's so emotional for us because we're passionate about what we do and we're trying to save lives. It's disappointing to know we missed someone. But it also continues to say why we need to do this work,” said Sagness, who is the director of the Behavioral Health Division.

ORIGINAL STORY: When thousands of North Dakotans head to the State Fair in Minot, they'll be able to grab a free kit to help reverse an opioid overdose.

The North Dakota Department of Human Services is handing out free naloxone kit during the fair.

Pam Sagness, director of the Behavioral Health Division in the department, says the goal is to inform about who is at risk for a possible overdose and how to respond.​ Sagness says this will deal with more than people with opioid use disorder, but also those who have more than one prescription which could lead to an accidental overdose.

The two-dose kits cost $75 each. The department purchased kits as part of a $6 million grant from the federal government.

To get a kit, you have to be 18 years old. There's also a training video at their booth and paramedics to answer questions.

Sagness didn't give an expected number of kits the department expects to hand out, but said they will bring 600 to the fair. Sagness says the department can restock if there's a need.

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