We Can Give Your City the Purchasing Power It Needs to Combat the Opioid Epidemic

photo - We Can Give Your City the Purchasing Power It Needs to Combat the Opioid Epidemic
photo - We Can Give Your City the Purchasing Power It Needs to Combat the Opioid Epidemic
According to the CDC, the majority of drug overdose deaths (more than six out of ten) involve an opioid. And since 1999, the rate of overdose deaths involving opioids (including prescription opioid pain relievers and heroin) has nearly quadrupled. (Getty Images)

Emergency medical service (EMS) staff can play a crucial role in the fight by administering the drug naloxone to help reduce opioid overdose.

This post was co-authored by Emma Lieberth and Rasheeda Senger.

As the National League of Cities (NLC) reported in A Prescription for Action, a report on the opioid epidemic jointly issued by NLC and the National Association of Counties (NACo), nearly 30,000 individuals died in 2014 from opioid overdose in the United States. Opioid and prescription drug overdose is sweeping across the nation and taking loved ones away from their families — but city leaders can help end the epidemic.

opioid epidemic graphic
NLC/NACo

According to a 2015 study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), emergency medical service (EMS) staff can play a crucial role in the fight by administering the drug naloxone to help reduce opioid overdose.

Naloxone — sold under the brand name Narcan, among others — is a nasal spray medication used to block the effects of opioids, especially in cases of overdose.

The U.S. Communities government purchasing alliance offers Narcan to local governments through a discount program in an effort to provide affordable access to Narcan for entities that serve the public interest with limited funding. U.S. Communities has held the price for Narcan steady at about $70 per two-dose packet for an extended period, and plans to continue to hold the line at that price point.

To obtain Narcan through the U.S. Communities purchasing program, simply visit the U.S. Communities website and register.

“NLC is a proud national sponsor of U.S. Communities,” said NLC Executive Director Clarence Anthony. “Our nation’s cities and towns have the ability to offer great products to their residents at a responsible price because of this cooperative purchasing program. They have a great team who is dedicated to helping local governments nationwide.”

NLC also works closely with the 29 state municipal leagues who are state sponsors of U.S. Communities. “Our partnership with U.S. Communities is a win-win for everyone. We provide an enhanced value service to our members by connecting them with a reputable purchasing alliance that understands local government,” said Carolyn Coleman, executive director of the League of California Cities, the first state league to sponsor of U.S. Communities. “Our members have access to tangible savings and solutions by purchasing what they need at the lowest possible price through competitively-bid contracts established and maintained by their peers.”

U.S. Communities is the leading national cooperative purchasing program that provides world-class government procurement resources and solutions to local government agencies. Through the program, local elected officials and local governments can buy products ranging from playground equipment to street lighting at the best prices available.

About the authors:

Emma Lieberth is the manager of State League Services and Strategic Partnerships at the National League of Cities. Follow Emma on Twitter @emmalieberth.

Rasheeda Senger is the senior associate for Strategy & Partnerships at the National League of Cities. Follow Rasheeda on Twitter @LRasheeda.

Manager, State League Service & Strategic Partnerships