Research shows many Nebraskans are unaware of life-saving drug Narcan

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN)- Opioids account for about 75% percent of overdose deaths, which data shows has recently increased in Nebraska, according to experts.

Rural Drug Addiction Research spokesperson, Patrick Habecker, says no specific data is pointing toward why certain areas are uninformed.

“Statewide across three years of data, we saw that essentially, a quarter to a third of Nebraskans, by our estimate, don’t know what Narcan or naloxone is at all,” he said.

Narcan has been accessible in Nebraska since 2015.  Habecker emphasized the goal of their research was to increase awareness of the fast-acting drug.

“This is a substance that can be purchased from any pharmacy in Nebraska,” he said.  “There’s also now over 100 pharmacies that are participating in a free Narcan program, if they have it in stock, you can go and get Narcan for free.”

Habecker went on to say the gap created by a lack of awareness across the state is putting those who need it at a disadvantage.

“Narcan works best when everybody knows about it.  When everybody knows how to get it and can sort of just reach out and grab it.  When they need it and when they’re ready for it, but if that information is not getting out, then there’s just this gap.”

Narcan’s availability and research from RDAR can be found on the Department of Health and Human Services website.

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