York city announces partnership to combat heroin deaths

YORK, Pa. (WHTM) – The York City Bureau of Health has announced a partnership with Minnich’s Pharmacy to provide Naloxone to family members of someone who is addicted to heroin or other narcotics.

Months ago, we reported seven people were saved from heroin overdoses since April. That number quickly jumped to 18. Now, to 44.

“It’s a crisis and we’re trying to react to it in a public setting,” Tom Kearney, York County District Attorney, said.

In September, CVS Pharmacies in several states got the okay to give Narcan to customers without a doctor’s prescription. They received a standing order. As of this week, Minnich’s Pharmacy in York has one too, thanks to the York City Bureau of Health.

“It’s been great. They’ve been able to save lives and we’ve been able to help in that process,” Scott Miller, President of Minnich’s Pharmacy, said.

Kearney said it comes at the perfect time. In the last two weeks, six people have died from heroin overdoses.

“Having this antidote available can be a life-saving measure,” Kearney said.

Dr. Matthew Howie at the Bureau of Health is working with the district attorney’s office and the county coroner. As part of the standing order people have to complete a brief, online training which proves they know how to properly use the drug and then show their certification to the pharmacist.

City officials said it’s that easy – but some said they’re feeling uneasy.

“It’s a possibility it could add to the problem of heroin overdoses. Primarily because there’s already people trying different things out now, so if it’s easy access I think it would possibly aid to the problem,” Zarriah Kennedy, of York, said.

Kearney said any additional money an addict has will only go toward their next fix; not Narcan. Which is why the Heroin Drug Task Force says it’s more for loved ones.

“The truth is that family members are usually first on the scene and we want to make sure that we get this antidote to people as quickly as we can,” Kearney said.

For a link to the training, click here.

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