IDPH Initiative to Equip All Iowa Law Enforcement with Opioid Reversal Drug

Having trouble viewing? View this as a webpage

Iowa Department of Public Health - Protecting and Improving the Health of Iowans


IDPH News Release


Contact: Polly Carver-Kimm

IDPH Initiative to Equip All Iowa Law Enforcement with Opioid Reversal Drug

The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) Bureau of Substance Abuse, with support from the Iowa State Sheriffs' and Deputies’ Association (ISSDA) and the Iowa Police Chiefs Association (IPCA), is sponsoring a new initiative to provide every interested law enforcement officer in the state with one free naloxone (Narcan nasal) kit.

Law enforcement is often the first to the scene of a suspected opioid overdose and in some cases, the law enforcement officer themselves may be in danger because of accidental opioid exposure. Having the ability to administer naloxone without delay could be the difference between life and death.

“Opioid overdose prevention and response is a public health issue that state health departments across the country are addressing,” said IDPH Opioid Treatment Program Director Kevin Gabbert. “Our efforts to prevent opioid-related deaths include a statewide Naloxone Standing Order that makes the medication available without prescription; providing free naloxone kits to Iowans as part of Narcan Access Day; and training over 100 stakeholders from across the state to be trainers on recognizing and responding to an opioid overdose.”

These efforts appear to be making a difference. In 2017, there were 206 opioid-involved deaths in Iowa. Preliminary data for 2018 shows that number has dropped to 137.

Any Iowa law enforcement agency (city/town/tribal police department or county sheriff’s office) may request free naloxone kits by contacting the Iowa Department of Public Health at 515-281-7689. For more information about how IDPH’s Bureau of Substance Abuse is addressing opioid misuse, visit