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Omaha seeing an uptick in overdoses: Narcan, 'Good Samaritan' law could save lives

Posted at 10:25 PM, Feb 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-08 23:25:08-05

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — First responders say in recent weeks, they've seen an uptick in overdose calls, and they're not sure what the cause is.

Battalion Chief Scott Fitzpatrick with the Omaha Fire Department, said they've seen overdoses on the rise for five years.

“In the last couple years, the uptick has been kind of steady as far as that goes," Fitzpatrick said. "But it’s kind of leveled off, but now in the last week, we’ve noticed kind of a slight uptick in the recent amount of overdoses that we have responded to.”

According to data from the CDC, overdose deaths in Nebraska have increased by 70.5% in the past five years. In Douglas County, they've increased by 116%.

Nebraska overdose deaths

  • 2015- 139 / 7.3 out of 100,000 Nebraskans
  • 2019- 180 / 9.3 out of 100,000 Nebraskans
  • 2020 - 237 / 12.2 out of 100,000 Nebraskans

Douglas County overdose deaths

  • 2015- 42
  • 2019- 56
  • 2020 - 91

This latest uptick could be fentanyl getting mixed with other drugs, a problem that came up last year. Or it could just be an increase in people using opioids. Omaha Police are investigating the matter.

RELATED: Omaha police investigating 4 overdoses in Aksarben-area apt

Whatever the cause, EMTS continue responding to overdose calls across the city, hoping to prevent fatal cases.

“The thing that helps out with that is Narcan that we carry," Fitzpatrick said. "That has an effect on it right away that can save someone’s life.”

The life-saving treatment also called Naloxone is available to anyone. Several pharmacies across the state offer it for no cost as part of the Naloxone Distribution Program.

But if you do use Narcan to help someone, you still need to call 911.

“It is fast-acting," Fitzpatrick said. "It has a fast shelf life, so to speak. So it could help them a little bit, and they could kind of go back into it. So we recommend you call 911, let us come check them out and take them to the hospital.”

In most cases, when you call for help, you are legally protected under state statute.

"Nobody is going to get in trouble," Fitzpatrick said. "We’re just there to help out that person or family member or yourself possibly, to help you get the help that you need.”

Metro pharmacies that offer Narcan:

Omaha
CHI Health Pharmacy 13315 W. Center Road
CHI Health Pharmacy 16101 Evans Street
CHI Health Pharmacy 4220 L Street
CHI Health Pharmacy 7500 Mercy Road
CHI Health Pharmacy 8613 N. 30th Street
CHI Health Pharmacy 6901 N. 72nd Street
CHI Health Pharmacy 16901 Lakeside Hills Court
CHI Health Pharmacy 8248 S. 96th Street

Papillion
CHI Health Pharmacy 11109 S. 84th Street

Bellevue
CHI Health Pharmacy 3308 Samson Way
Kohll's Rx 5002 Dodge Street
Kohll's Rx 12741 Q Street
Kubat Pharmacy 4924 Center Street
Nebraska Medicine Pharmacy 4014 Leavenworth
Via Rx 625 N 90th

Council Bluffs
Walgreens Pharmacy 301 W Bennett Ave.
Walgreens Pharmacy 2508 Broadway
Walgreens Pharmacy 535 E Broadway
Walmart Pharmacy 3201 Manawa Centre Drive

If you or someone you love are struggling with opioid addiction or misuse, you can contact the local chapter of Narcotics Anonymous at 402-660-3662 or find a meeting at eastern-nebraska-na.org.

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