April 22, 2024

Attorney General Moody Launches Helping Heroes To Provide Free Naloxone To Florida First Responders Now Through 2033

| 5/10/2023

On National Fentanyl Awareness Day, Attorney General Ashley Moody is launching a new program to help fight the national opioid crisis. Flanked by first responders in Clearwater today, Attorney General Moody announced Helping Heroes. This new initiative will provide free naloxone to law enforcement, firefighters and paramedics at select Walmart pharmacy locations across the state. Naloxone is a life-saving medication that quickly reverses the effects of an opioid overdose. Helping Heroes will run now until 2033 through an agreement between the Florida Attorney General’s Office and Walmart.

Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “Naloxone saves lives, and we want to make sure Florida’s first responders have access to this vital medication to treat opioid overdoses. With illicit fentanyl flooding across our Southwest Border, we need to do everything we can to reduce the number of overdose deaths caused by this devastating crisis. That is why, in recognition of National Fentanyl Awareness Day, I am launching Helping Heroes—to make sure Florida first responders can access this life-saving medication.”

Clearwater Police Chief Daniel Slaughter said, “I can’t thank our Attorney General, Ashley Moody, enough for always supporting public safety and making this opioid-reversing agent available. I also want to thank the Walmart organization for working with Attorney General Moody to make this happen. In 2017, the Clearwater Police Department was the first law enforcement agency in Pinellas County to issue Narcan to our police officers. We are grateful to have this new program to ensure that we have the ability to keep this tool in the hands of our officers.”

In 2021, more than 100,000 Americans died due to drug overdose—most of these deaths driven largely by synthetic opioids like fentanyl. A recent U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report found that fentanyl overdose deaths more than tripled over the past five years. Fentanyl is the leading cause of all opioid deaths and is the number one killer of adults ages 18 to 45.  According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, agents seized more than 34,000 pounds of the substance at the U.S. Southwest Border since February 2021, enough to kill the entire U.S. population more than 23 times.

In 2021, Florida’s emergency responders treated more than 105,000 drug overdoses—more than 40,000 are suspected to have involved opioids. That same year, more than 6,400 Floridians died from an opioid overdose. Naloxone is an overdose-reversal medication that saves lives.

Through Helping Heroes, free naloxone will be provided to participating first responders and law enforcement officers at select Walmart pharmacies in Florida over the next 10 years.

Florida procured the supply of naloxone as part of Attorney General Moody’s historic opioid agreements with Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries Ltd. and Walmart. Over the next decade, Teva and Walmart will partner with the Florida Department of Health and Attorney General Moody’s office to manufacture, distribute and dispense $84 million worth of the lifesaving drug to emergency-response personnel statewide.

Any Florida agency that employs licensed emergency responders may apply to Helping Heroes. Licensed emergency responders include law enforcement officers, firefighters, paramedics, correctional officers and correctional-probation officers.

To apply, visit DoseOfRealityFL.com/HelpingHeroes. Training on administering naloxone nasal spray is required for approval into the program. Attorney General Moody issued a training video for potential participants.

Anyone struggling with substance-abuse issues should visit DoseOfRealityFL.com, a statewide resource with information for combating drug abuse. Those struggling with addiction can find treatment resources at TreatmentAtlas.org.

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