Donation equips Lake County first responders with naloxone

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LCHD 2017

For Immediate Release
Date: March 1, 2018
Contact: Hannah Goering
(847) 377-8099

Donation equips Lake County first responders with naloxone

Kaléo honored for their role in county-wide efforts to reduce opioid-related deaths 

Waukegan, Ill. — On Tuesday, The Lake County Health Department and Community Health Center recognized kaléo, a Virginia-based pharmaceutical company, for its generous donations of life-saving naloxone, a medication designed to reverse an opioid overdose. Since 2014, Lake County law enforcement officers have saved 245 lives using naloxone, in addition to saves made by emergency medical service providers.

“We are in the midst of a national opioid crisis,” said Health Department Executive Director, Mark Pfister. “Drug overdoses are now the leading cause of death in the United States for people under the age of 50.” In 2017, there were 63 deaths from opioid overdoses recorded in Lake County, and law enforcement saved 92 lives using naloxone. 

“When someone’s life is saved by the use of naloxone, it gives us one more chance to get them into care, to get them on the path to a healthier life,” Pfister said.

Mark Herzog, Vice President of Corporate Affairs at kaléo, announced Tuesday that the company will provide the Health Department with 3,500 doses of its 2mg EVZIO® (naloxone HCl injection) auto-injectors, which have five times the dosage of the original 0.4mg version. Since 2014, the kaléo Cares grant program has donated over 10,000 naloxone auto-injectors to the Lake County Health Department.

“Kaléo’s donation is an amazing demonstration of corporate social responsibility and part of a multi-year public private partnership to equip first responders with naloxone, which has saved many lives,” said Lake County Board Chairman, Aaron Lawlor. “Without naloxone, those struggling with addiction would not get a second chance to seek help. It is critical we provide them with comprehensive, accessible and effective treatments so they never need another naloxone injection again. That’s why we’re working to build capacity that provides access to mental health care, employment, and supportive housing.” 

The Health Department’s robust partnership with Lake County law enforcement includes multiple initiatives to prevent opioid deaths and help those with substance use disorders get into care. In cooperation with the Lake County Opioid Initiative, the Health Department trains law enforcement officers to administer naloxone. The Health Department and Sheriff’s Office have collaborated to launch Crisis Intervention Team training to help officers respond appropriately to mental health crisis incidents. So far, approximately one-third of Sheriff’s Office employees have received the certification.

In December of 2017, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office launched an initiative with the Health Department and Treatment Alternatives for Safe Communities (TASC) to provide naloxone training to inmates approaching release from the Lake County Jail. 

“We know inmates with substance use disorders have a high rate of relapse,” said Sheriff Mark C. Curran. “By educating them as they get closer to their release date, they're better prepared. So far, we've had 19 inmates trained on how to use naloxone.” 

“The key to our success is the partnership that we have with the public and private sectors coming together,” said Mike Nerheim, Lake County State’s Attorney. “The Lake County Opioid Initiative’s outreach efforts in prevention and stigma reduction; programs that raise awareness in our schools like Text-a-Tip; the drug disposal programs throughout Lake County; and new programs like A Way Out—these are programs that we're very proud of that are starting to grow. It's the partnerships that set us apart, and that's how we are going to overcome this epidemic.”

About the Lake County Health Department: 

The Lake County Health Department and Community Health Center’s mission is promoting the health and well-being of all who live, work, and play in Lake County. To address issues of substance use in Lake County, the Health Department works alongside community partners; trains law enforcement on the administration of naloxone; and provides high quality behavioral health services to Lake County residents. For more information, visit

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Lake County officials recognized kaleo at a press conference Tuesday.
Lake County officials gathered Tuesday to celebrate county-wide efforts to reduce opioid deaths and to recognize kaléo, a Virginia-based pharmaceutical company, for its generous donations of life-saving naloxone. [Pictured L2R: Michael Nerheim, Lake County State’s Attorney; Mark Pfister, Executive Director, Lake County Health Department and Community Health Center; Mark Herzog, Vice President of Corporate Affairs, kaléo; Mark C. Curran, Lake County Sheriff; Aaron Lawlor, Lake County Board Chairman.]
EVZIO auto-injector naloxone product
Kaléo, a Virginia-based pharmaceutical company, recently announced it would donate an additional 3,500 EVZIO® (naloxone HCl injection) auto-injectors to the Lake County Health Department to equip first responders with the ability to reverse opioid overdoses and save lives.
LCHD logo 2017

Lake County Health Department
3010 Grand Avenue
Waukegan, Illinois 60085
(847) 377-8000