Lethal doses of heroin, carfentanil, and fentanyl (DEA photo)

First Responders Pay Soaring Price for Overdose Antidote Naloxone

On average, 115 Americans are now dying every day from opioid overdoses, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

As first responders in South Florida — and across the country — need naloxone like never before, the escalating cost of the drug is socking it to taxpayers, according to a new WLRN investigation.

A WLRN analysis of seven major South Florida fire rescue departments shows spending on naloxone soared between 2013 and 2016. Delray Beach Fire Rescue used to spend $2,100 on naloxone. Now it spends 14 times that. Miami Fire Rescue used to spend $3,600. Now, it’s also 14 times that amount. And Palm Beach County Fire Rescue’s naloxone bill went from $18,000 to $205,000 — an increase of more than 1,100 percent.

More overdoses explain part of the rising expense. But the cost of life-saving naloxone has also soared. Paying the price: police, fire rescue and EMS agencies. And that’s causing concern in Congress.

Read more at WLRN

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The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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