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Multimillion dollar grant to help curb opioid crisis

Multimillion dollar grant to help curb opioid crisis

SAN ANTONIO – Powerful opioid narcotics are responsible for dozens of deaths in our community. Now, a new multimillion dollar grant will help curb the crisis.

Bexar County’s Opioid Task Force just received a $3.2 million grant for intervention, treatment and prevention.

Opioids aren’t just street drugs. They’re in medicine cabinets.

"Vicodin, OxyContin, things that are prescribed for pain,” says Abigail Moore with the San Antonio Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse (SACADA).

She describes the heartbreaking impact.

"About 30 babies born a month with opioid in their system at just one local hospital,” Moore says.

The new grant money will ensure when someone overdoses or when babies are born addicted, help is right there, through a four-year pilot program with Baptist and University hospitals.

"We're going to put recovery support coaches in emergency rooms and also in the neonatal where babies are born and these moms are testing positive as they're giving birth,” Moore says.

The multimillion dollar grant will also help train doctors and pharmacists to recognize signs of abuse.

"We wanted to get ahead of the curve,” says Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff.

He says the money will also be used to help circulate Naloxone throughout the city, a medication also known by the brand name Narcan that’s used by first responders to counter opioid overdoses.

"Get other entities to use it besides first responders, whether it's campuses or nurses in schools,” Judge Wolff says.

And SACADA will soon start distributing a new tool to help you safely throw away medicine.

"Everyone has medicine cabinets with leftover medications,” Moore explains.

She showed us deactivator pouches for pills, liquids or patches. Just add water, and an absorption pod inside deactivates the drug.

"They can just throw it away and that medication is just not in its active form anymore, not causing any harm to the environment or anyone else,” Moore says.

By EMILY BAUCUM

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