Overdose reversal drug now available throughout Elk Grove
The overdose reversal drug Narcan is now available at some 20 public locations in Elk Grove Village -- the signature initiative of the village government's campaign to combat the opioid crisis.
Kits containing two doses of the medication in nasal spray form have been placed within municipal buildings, including village hall, four fire stations and two public works facilities, but they're also at a growing number of private businesses.
That list includes two McDonald's (10 W. Biesterfield Road and 633 Meacham Road), three hotels (Howard Johnson, 1925 E. Higgins Road; La Quinta Inn, 1900 E. Oakton St.; and Holiday Inn, 1000 Busse Road), and two churches (Elk Grove Baptist Church and Christus Victor Lutheran Church).
The kits will soon be at Mead Junior High and Stevenson and Link elementary schools, and at the Elk Grove Village Public Library, pending library board approval.
Village officials are talking to other schools and businesses to place the lifesaving antidote at more locations.
"Of all the stuff we've done, this can truly make a difference in this world," said Mayor Craig Johnson.
The Elk Grove Village Cares program, launched in June, is a multipronged initiative that includes partnerships with treatment institutions, support groups and an education campaign.
But what sets Elk Grove's program apart in the region is the placement of Narcan at public places, making it as widely available as automatic external defibrillators that help with cardiac arrest.
Similar deployments of the drug have been made in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Gloucester, Massachusetts.
Elk Grove Village has hosted training sessions for its staff and businesses that have the kits, though officials say administering the drug via nasal spray requires no special training or expertise. When used effectively, the drug can counteract the breathing suppression of an overdose, but it doesn't have an adverse effect on someone who is not suffering from an overdose.
Since the village launched the program, seven people have sought treatment for drug or alcohol addictions. Five are still in the program.
The village has already spent $45,000 of the $420,000 it budgeted for the program and is still working to secure federal grants.
Officials will host a family support group meeting for families dealing with substance abuse issues at 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 1, in Meeting Room E of village hall.