Public Health to Begin Weekly Narcan Giveaways in Albany | News


“In Dougherty County, in months when COVID has gone up overdoses have gone up,” Dr. Charles Ruis, health director for Southwest Health District 8-2, said. “We don’t know what correlation to draw from that, so we don’t know how the two are connected.” You’re no stranger to weather reports, but do you always understand what the meteorologist is saying? Stacker explains some of the most commonly used words, phrases, and terms in the world of weather. Click for more.

Dougherty County Emergency Medical Services, which provides ambulance services, also has noted a large increase in opioid overdose cases. Officials with Phoebe Putney Health System noted Monday that after a month-plus of significantly lower COVID-19 numbers, facilities within the health system had seen a “leveling off” of cases in recent days. But the numbers went down again Monday, as 24 COVID patients are now being treated at Phoebe facilities in Albany and Americus. The number at Phoebe in Albany fell to 23 on Monday, while the number at Phoebe Sumter in Americus remained at one.

“While it’s still important, now we have reached a point in the pandemic where we are sort of redirecting our efforts toward normal (services).”
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“It was a success,” Ruis said of the event in November, “but that was about the time we got busy with COVID again. Because of COVID, we didn’t have much marketing because back then we were stressing the importance of social distancing. The pandemic also interrupted a Narcan giveaway program started in November 2020 as a third spike in novel coronavirus arrived after the Thanksgiving holidays.

The health department in Albany will begin weekly distribution of Narcan each Wednesday from 1-5 p.m. at its 1700 S. Slappey Blvd. office.
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Narcan is a good overdose antidote to have on hand “for patients who have a substance abuse problem, but also for friends and family members of people with a substance abuse problem,” Ruis said. “In many cases it works within minutes. People who have been basically comatose will be waking up, breathing on their own and talking within minutes.” In the event someone uses Narcan, he or she should still call for an ambulance, the health director said. The doses will be available there for residents throughout the health district while supplies last. Individuals must be at least 18 and will be screened for the coronavirus and required to wear masks.

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