- Associated Press - Monday, January 30, 2017

BANGOR, Maine (AP) - Four health care groups are working to increase access to the anti-opioid drug naloxone in the Bangor area.

Naloxone is used to treat opioid overdoses. Eastern Maine Medical Center, St. Joseph Healthcare, Acadia Hospital and Penobscot (peh-NAHB-skaht) Community Health Care are providing 500 survival kits to people who don’t have the ability to pay for them.

The primary care offices and emergency departments of the organizations will be prescribing the nasal spray, as state laws require the medication be prescribed by a health care provider.

The survival kits will also include educational resources, such as information about how to administer naloxone.

The availability of kits is the result of a fundraising drive that raised more than $17,000.

Drug overdose deaths have been on a record pace in Maine in recent years.

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