A tribal health provider is hoping to put more life-saving overdose reversal medication in the hands of Alaskans — and teach them how to respond to opioid overdoses — at a drive-thru event Saturday in Anchorage.
The Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium is offering attendees free overdose response kits after they complete a five-minute training from their cars on how to administer the opioid overdose reversal drug naloxone, often known under the brand name Narcan, or the higher-dose Kloxxado.
The naloxone distribution and training event runs from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Alaska Native Health Campus, in the parking lot next to the pond off Tudor Centre Drive.
The goal of the event is to train as many Alaskans as possible across the state and “empower all Alaskans to step up and be a hero and carry naloxone,” said Jennifer Summers, who oversees the consortium’s substance misuse and prevention program and helped organize the event.
There are 1,800 kits assembled and ready to be distributed Saturday, Summers said.
Saturday’s drive-thru training is part of a broader effort among providers, health officials and nonprofit organizations to enlist the help of everyday Alaskans in combating a yearslong opioid epidemic with far-reaching impacts. Between 2021 and 2022, Alaska reported the highest increase in overdose deaths of any U.S. state, and overdoses have since shown little sign of slowing.
Summers said Saturday’s training would take just a few minutes, and that Alaskans were invited to stop by at any point during the three-hour event to pick up a kit, which contains fentanyl testing strips as well. Anyone who can’t attend the event can visit iknowmine.org to complete a quick training and receive a free kit via mail.
Other organizations that attendees can connect with at Saturday’s event include Project Hope, the Alaska Office of Substance Misuse and Addiction Prevention, Southcentral Foundation and the Anchorage Health Department.