District to distribute more naloxone to combat opioid overdoses

The District will increase its supply of naloxone, the drug used to reverse opioid overdoses, in an attempt to curb the growing number of opioid-related deaths, city officials said Friday.

The D.C. Department of Health distributed 1,000 naloxone kits in 2016 as part of a pilot program, which prevented at least 290 residents from fatally overdosing, officials said.

The city will now provide an additional 2,500 naloxone kits, which officials predict will last about 10 months, to two community health organizations that work with drug users.

D.C. Department of Health will monitor use of thekits to better gauge the need, officials said.

Opioid-related deaths in the city have nearly tripled in the past two years — from 83 in 2014 to 231 in 2016.