Public Health expands Narcan distribution and training


May 11, 2024

Beginning May 1, Kern County Public Health broadens our Narcan Distribution Project to include our traveling Mobile Health Vehicle. This expansion is due to the increasing health crisis pervading our communities that heightens the need to make Narcan available throughout Kern County while providing residents the opportunity to receive training and information on how to respond to an opioid overdose.

"Expanding opportunities to all areas of Kern County for our residents to get easy access to Narcan and life-saving training to respond to an opioid overdose is a critical step in our effort to reduce opioid-related deaths," says Brynn Carrigan, director of Kern County Public Health. "It empowers residents to take action and help save the life of a friend or family member."

It's a crisis close to home. In 2022, there were 376,217 prescriptions for opioids in Kern County. That same year, there were 675 opioid-related visits to local hospital emergency rooms and 308 people died from opioid overdose in Kern County. Additionally, the Kern County Child Death Review Team reports that in 2022 Kern had seven total overdoses due to opioid related drugs and all of these deaths were in individuals between 14 and 17 years of age. This was 2.8 deaths per 100,000, which was 180% higher than the State at one death per 100,000.

Public Health Narcan Distribution Project

Public Health distributes Narcan to residents at no cost. Narcan is a nasal spray and the brand-name of Naloxone, a life-saving medication used to reverse an opioid overdose. Public Health staff will provide individuals with one box of Narcan and give a brief training on how to respond to an opioid overdose.

Narcan is available in our Clinic located at 1800 Mt. Vernon Avenue in Bakersfield and now on our Mobile Health Vehicle, traveling throughout Kern County. Staff will train residents in groups of up to two people as walk-ins, with training time 10-15 minutes. Larger groups and local businesses are encouraged to visit our website for more information.

One Heart at a Time

Kern County Public Health has embarked on a year-long health initiative we call "A Healthier Kern – One Heart at a Time." This initiative highlights ten health-related challenges and provides awareness and education to empower our residents to be healthier while showcasing Public Health programs and services. This May we highlight mental health and substance abuse as a top health challenge and invite our entire community to join us to help create a healthier Kern County.


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