Expanding Efforts to Treat Opioid Overdoses

By U.S. Communities
Addiction to opioids such as heroin, morphine, and prescription pain relievers continues to challenge the social and economic wellbeing of counties big and small. Heroin use specifically has increased dramatically in the past five years, and subsequently, overdose-related deaths more than doubled from 2011 to 2014. The ability to address the problem with overarching results seems consistently just out of reach. In an effort to provide assistance with this national epidemic, the National Association of Counties, the National Governors Association, the National League of Cities, and the United States Conference of Mayors with the U.S. Communities Government Purchasing Alliance, Premier, Inc., and Adapt Pharma are now offering NARCAN® Nasal Spray at a 40-percent discount.

NARCAN®, a potentially lifesaving opioid withdrawal medication, is the only FDA-approved, ready-to-use nasal spray version of naloxone hydrochloride. It can stop or reverse the effects of an opioid overdose, and access to this medication will allow counties to combat the number of drug-related overdose deaths across the country. Adapt Pharma is offering a 40-percent discount, $37.50 per dose ($75 for a 2 pack carton) in an effort to make the medication more affordable and  accessible, through the U.S. Communities Purchasing Alliance and Premier, Inc. NARCAN® is a simple product; its ease of use can save lives, even in the most high stress situations and even when administered by understandably panicked bystanders.

This new partnership has been met with widespread support from state and local leaders. Late last year, the White House Administration announced that as a priority, it would dedicate increased time and energy to fight the epidemic. The Administration has made it a top priority to expand access to the overdose reversal drug naloxone and medication-assisted treatment because we have lost too many of our family members and friends to the opioid epidemic,” said White House National Drug Policy Control Director Michael Botticelli. “This public-private partnership to secure discounts for state and local agencies can help ensure that these life-saving medications are available wherever they are needed.”

The National Association of Counties (NACo), a founding sponsor of U.S. Communities, will continue to work with state associations of counties, such as NYSAC, to develop policy recommendations and promote promising practices to address the opioid epidemic plaguing communities. “Medication-assisted opioid treatment can mean the difference between life and death,” said NACo Immediate Past President Sallie Clark, commissioner, El Paso County, Colo. “We
see the devastating effects of prescription drug abuse and heroin use because counties are at the intersection of the local health, justice and public safety systems. We welcome this public-private partnership to support our response to this national crisis.”

About U.S. Communities

U.S. Communities, of which the New York State Association of Counties serves as a state association partner, combines the purchasing power of more than 55,000 public agencies. The program offers no user fees, best overall supplier government pricing, quality brands, integrity, experience, and oversight by public purchasing professionals. For more information, please visit For more information on how U.S. Communities is poised to combat prescription drug abuse and heroin use, please visit suppliers/premier-medical/combating-drug-abuse/.