NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Arkansas state officials are continuing efforts to fight against the opioid crisis in the state.
Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Arkansas State Drug Director Tom Fisher and Director of Arkansas Opioid Recovery Partnership Kirk Lane gathered at the naloxone distribution center at Camp Robinson to announce that more than 15,000 kits, with a value of $675,000, will be distributed across the state.
The funding for the kits became available after Arkansas received more than $200 million from the 2022 national opioid settlement.
The Arkansas of Counties and the Arkansas Municipal League received 1/3 of the settlement funding. After receiving the settlement, the two programs created the Arkansas Opioid Recovery Partnership to distribute the funds award to the cities in counties in the state.
The naloxone kits are used to reverse an overdose from opioids such as heroin, fentanyl codeine and oxycodone.
Sanders has focused on drug control in the legislature with the signing of the Safer Stronger Arkansas prison, funding and sentencing acts.
The governor signed a bill in May for naloxone or Narcan kits to be visible and labeled in public high schools and colleges, which will take effect Jan. 14, 2024. The Naloxone Access Act amendment was also signed into law to broaden who is permitted to administer naloxone in an overdose emergency.
Fisher noted that police officials in the capital city confirmed that 27 overdose death investigations that are actively open.