COCHISE, GRAHAM COUNTY- When rural communities stretch down dirt roads and response times for emergency crews can be longer, available opioid antidotes can save lives.

That’s why local substance abuse experts want people to know Naloxone is still available and there are people ready to help.

“Even though we are facing this pandemic we would just like everyone in our community to know that we are still around and we still will safely be of assistance to anyone in need in any way we can,” said Willcox Against Substance Abuse Director Alicia Hernandez.

Keith Jeffery, clinic manager for Community Medical Service in Safford, said he has heard many individuals within the community erroneously say the Safford CMS office is closed.

He wants everyone to know the CMS office is open and taking patients.

“Although other places are no longer doing intakes we are still doing intakes. We would suggest you call (ahead of time) because we have a 10-person maximum inside the building, which means only seven patients can be inside the building at the same time,” Jeffery said. “That is really the only inconvenience that we really have. If someone were to walk up to the door, they could get a Naloxone kit. Absolutely.”

The pandemic is also forcing Naloxone training to go online.

Local Naloxone administration community training began through WASA in February.

Due to the pandemic, train-the-trainer events have moved online through the Zoom app for WASA, but Naloxone community training has ceased due to the restrictions regarding group meetings.

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