OTTAWA - LaSalle County’s award-winning Naloxone Program was initiated in 2015 from a training request made to the Health Department by the LaSalle County Sheriff’s Office. The request was referred to the LaSalle County Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) Coordinator, making the LaSalle County MRC the point organization.
The unit developed an Opioid 101 course and gained approval from the Illinois Department of Human Services Division of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse as well as the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board in January 2016. Full implementation for the program occurred in February 2016.
The LaSalle County Naloxone Program has exceeded the expectations of those involved. The program continues to train officers, work to change misconceptions about opioid addiction, improve relations with law enforcement and the Medical Reserve Corps, provide avenues for expansion, and most importantly, save lives.
The program’s 2018 report states that during the year, 97 doses of Narcan Nasal Spray were used by law enforcement and other partners in 54 separate overdose incidents. This represented 49.5 percent of all opioid overdose responses in LaSalle County in 2018. The response efforts saved 52 lives throughout the course of the year.
The 97 doses cost a total of $3,675, which was paid by the LaSalle County Health Department/MRC through a 2015 Challenge grant. Additionally, the Health Department/MRC purchased a stockpile of Narcan nasal pray for 2019 at a cost of $3,600 with the remaining Challenge grant funds. Further sources of funding and/or Narcan are being explored to maintain a “no-cost” program for the future.
A complete summary report of the progress made within the LaSalle County Naloxone Program for the 2018 calendar year is available on the Health Department’s website at www.lasallecounty.org.
The LaSalle County Medical Reserve Corps is a volunteer organization. MRC programs are community-based and operate as a way to organize and utilize volunteers, medical professionals and non-medical professionals, who want to donate their time and expertise to promote healthy living throughout the year and to prepare for and respond to emergencies. MRC volunteers supplement existing local emergency and public health resources.
For information on becoming a MRC volunteer, please contact Matthew Devine, MRC Coordinator at (815) 433-3366, ext. 74316.