Narcan is a life-saving drug that can reverse an opioid overdose, if you can get your hands on it. Some people are having a tough time getting a prescription, and members of the York County Heroin Task Force are trying to help. “It’s a job that unfortunately I qualify for. But, we have a passion and we are making a difference,” said Charlene Sciarretta, a member of the York County Heroin Task Force.
“He was just a good guy and he lit up the room,” said Charlene Sciarretta as she described her son Danny who passed away from a heroin overdose in 2004. Sciarretta tells Danny’s story at every York County Heroin Task Force town hall meeting.
“It’s sort of a warning for them, and I can tell them where the road ends,” said Sciarretta. She hopes some of Pennsylvania’s new laws will help save other families from the same heartbreak. “All of this stuff it’s heartbreaking for me, but its joyful too. It’s bittersweet. It would have changed everything,” said Sciarretta.
One allows doctors to write prescriptions for families to get Naloxone, otherwise known as Narcan, which is a life-saving anti-overdose drug for opioids. But, not all doctors are aware they can prescribe it.
“If it had been there, I would have had one. Danny would have carried one. So we’re getting the word out,” said Sciarretta.
At the York County Heroin Task Force meeting Wednesday in Hanover a letter was handed out letting healthcare providers know they can write a third-party prescription for Narcan, meaning for a family member or loved one.
“This can also help elderly people who may be taking opioid prescription medications,” said York County Coroner Pam Gay.
“Naloxone is critically important in these cases,” said Dr. Rachel Levine, Pennsylvania Physician General. She is also working to spread the word, and has sent out notices to the Pennsylvania Medical Society and other agencies to notify all doctors. Plus, in the coming months she plans to write a blanket prescription. “The governor has asked to me write a standing order prescription, so all of the citizens of Pennsylvania can get a prescription filled in the event that a family member is an abuser,” said Dr. Levine.