Sheriff Dart Partners with Community Advocates on New Naloxone Initiative

Sheriff Dart Partners with Community Advocates on New Naloxone Initiative
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Sheriff Dart Partners with Community Advocates on New Naloxone Initiative (Cook County, IL) — Cook County Sheriff Thomas J. Dart and community advocates announced a new initiative today that will make naloxone, the opioid overdose reversal drug, more accessible to those who need it.

The office in partnership with Cook County Commissioner Dennis Deer and Matthew McFarland from the Lawndale Christian Legal Center will provide Zimhi – an injectable device with a high dose of naloxone — at gas stations in Chicago neighborhoods that have had high number of reported overdoses.

“This initiative expands my office’s efforts to get naloxone into the hands who need it by providing it at easily accessible places,” Sheriff Dart said. “For years Cook County Jail has provided life-saving naloxone to people leaving the jail and the Treatment Response Team helps individuals in the community access naloxone and also get into drug treatment programs.”

Zimhi will be available for free at these gas stations, no questions asked. Information on how to reach clinicians from the Sheriff’s Treatment Response Team will also be provided so those who want to seek treatment for substance use can get connected to services. Sheriff Dart formed the Treatment Response Team in 2019 to bridge the gap in services for individuals who have overdosed as well as support services for their loved ones.

“The opioid crisis has hit Cook County at an alarming rate, especially in the 2nd County District of which I represent,” Commissioner Deer said. “I sponsored and the Cook County Board passed Treatment not Trauma, and this initiative adds another layer to that, and will help save lives overall.”

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The naloxone devices for this initiative come at no cost to taxpayers. The Sheriff’s Office received the Zimhi kits from McFarland, who had received them from Louisville, Kentucky pharmaceutical company, US WorldMeds. Each kit contains two epi-pen style injections each with 5 mg naloxone.

“I’ve administered naloxone and have received naloxone. Having a high dose of naloxone that is easy to use in places where people already go to purchase other necessities will save lives,” McFarland said.

Approximately 15 gas stations on the West Side will initially be taking part in this initiative, with goals to expand to other locations in the near future.

Sheriff Dart Partners with Community Advocates on New Naloxone Initiative

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