CHS/Genesis House Clinician James Beaulieu (left) hands a box of Narcan to Monterey County Parks Chief Bryan Flores. (Contributed)

MONTEREY COUNTY — Community Human Services (CHS) has provided the Monterey County Parks Department with 17 cases of naloxone hydrochloride nasal spray, the opioid overdose reversal medication, free of charge.

This represents over 200 individual doses of Narcan that park rangers can administer to distressed individuals encountered in County Parks who may be experiencing a drug overdose.

“We commend County Parks Chief Bryan Flores and his staff for demonstrating leadership on this important issue,” said Robin McCrae, CEO of CHS. “We thank them for their compassion and commitment to use this life-saving medication to help prevent additional unwanted outcomes of opioid use.”

In 2018, Monterey County had the second-lowest opioid-related death rate of any county in California. Since then, counterfeit medications have entered the market, many with toxic or lethal doses of fentanyl, causing a staggering increase in opioid-related overdoses and deaths.

Fatal overdoses from opioids have increased eightfold since 2018, prompting the medical community, community-based organizations, and families to step up their efforts in battling the opioid crisis and ask the community for help. There were 65 opioid-related deaths in both 2020 and 2021 in Monterey County.

Many of the opioid-related deaths in recent years have been linked to counterfeit pills containing fentanyl, made to look like prescription medications. Fentanyl is a powerful opioid, 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times more potent than morphine.

“Opioid addiction can be extremely difficult to overcome. But medication-assisted treatment can help. Recovery happens. Miracles happen. Medication-assisted treatment works,” McCrae said.

CHS operates four drug treatment programs that address opioid dependence — Genesis House, Off Main Clinic and two Outpatient Drug Treatment Centers — all offering medication-assisted treatment.

CHS’s donation of Narcan to the Monterey County Parks Department is part of the upcoming 2023 Virtual 5K/3K Recovery Run and Memorial Flag Ceremonies to be held in Monterey, Salinas, Seaside, Soledad and at Hartnell College’s Salinas campus between April 22 and May 20. 

Information about race registration and memorial flag events is available here. The Recovery Run is presented by Community Human Services in partnership with iHeart Radio, Montage Health’s Prescribe Safe Initiative and Salinas Valley Health.

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A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.


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