Narcan is now available in publicly accessible indoor AED cabinets across Eagle County

Narcan is one of the primary harm reduction efforts in the fight against the opioid epidemic.
Matt Rourke/AP File

Avon-based nonprofit Starting Hearts has placed lifesaving Naloxone, also known as Narcan or Kloxxado, in publicly accessible indoor AED cabinets across Eagle County. Cabinets with Naloxone can be identified by a decal that reads: Naloxone Overdose Rescue.

Naloxone is a life-saving medication that can reverse an overdose of opioids — including heroin, fentanyl, and prescription opioid medications — when administered in time. Naloxone is easy to use without medical training or authorization by citizen responders.

Opioids are commonly laced with fentanyl, a synthetic opioid that is up to 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine. It is a major contributor to fatal and nonfatal overdoses in the United States. There are two types of fentanyl: pharmaceutical fentanyl and illicitly manufactured fentanyl. Both are considered synthetic opioids.

Most recent cases of fentanyl-related overdose are linked to illicitly manufactured fentanyl, which is distributed through illegal drug markets for its heroin-like effect. It is often added to other drugs because of its extreme potency, which makes drugs cheaper, more powerful, more addictive, and more dangerous. Naloxone quickly reverses an overdose by blocking the effects of opioids. It can restore normal breathing within two to three minutes in a person whose breathing has slowed, or even stopped, because of opioid overdose.

More than one dose of Naloxone may be required when stronger opioids like fentanyl are involved. Naloxone won’t harm someone overdosing on drugs other than opioids, so it’s always best to use it if you think someone may be suffering a drug overdose. Good Samaritan laws are in place in most states to protect those who are overdosing and anyone assisting them in an emergency from arrest, charges, or a combination of these.

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Starting Hearts is authorized by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to obtain and distribute Naloxone as part of the state-wide Naloxone bulk program. Colorado Senate Bill 19-227 created the Opiate Antagonist-Naloxone Bulk Purchase Fund to allow eligible entities to purchase the opiate antagonists at low or no cost.

“Opioid overdose often leads to sudden cardiac arrest and death,” said Alan Himelfarb, the executive director of Starting Hearts. “For Starting Hearts, this initiative to place Narcan in defibrillator cabinets throughout the county is an essential step in saving precious lives of our citizens and visitors. We greatly appreciate the support of the Eagle County Public Safety Council and CDPHE for their support in this important effort to improve safety here at home.”

Starting Hearts incorporates opioid education and Naloxone administration in all high school and adult CPR-related classes, as well as distributes Naloxone to adults who request it.

“If you happen to witness an overdose, access to Naloxone can make the difference between life and death,” said Eagle County Emergency Manager Birch Barron. “Death from an opioid overdose is entirely preventable, and our community is lucky to have this life-saving tool available in every indoor AED cabinet countywide.”

Maggie Seldeen, the president and founder of High Rockies Harm Reduction, who is a Starting Hearts board member, added, “I am so excited to see public access to Narcan increasing in our rural communities and the Narcan sticker on the front of the AED cabinets alerts people that opioid overdose rescue is available.”

Both Starting Hearts and Eagle County Paramedics Services have Narcan on hand for the public.

Narcan is also available for sale without a prescription, at local pharmacies. To obtain Narcan, please visit the Eagle County Paramedic Services Edwards Station at 1055 Edwards Village Blvd. from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. during weekdays or by contacting Starting Hearts via email at or at 970-763-5306

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