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The County of DuPage
Wheaton, Illinois

Press Release

Contact Information: Johnna Kelly 630-407-6022

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

DuPage County earns national achievement award for Narcan Program

DuPage County's Narcan program has been recognized with an Achievement Award from the National Association of Counties (NACo). The award honors innovative, effective county government programs that enhance services for residents. 

NACo recognized DuPage's Narcan program in the category for its innovation and ability to save lives, putting the drug Narcan in the hands of first responders, who are usually the first to arrive on the scene of a potentially fatal heroin overdose.  As a result of DuPage's pilot program, more than 1,800 police officers have been trained to use Narcan in an emergency and more than 50 lives have been saved since 2014.

DuPage County Board Chairman Dan Cronin said, "DuPage County is gratified to be recognized by our peers from all around the nation.  However, the most compelling aspect of this program is our ability to deploy Narcan in the midst of an emergency and reverse heroin's deadly grip on a victim.  We are proud to be a statewide and now national leader in the fight against heroin and join with thousands of others as we continue our work to make DuPage County heroin free."

DuPage County's Health Department administers the Narcan program.  Executive Director Karen Ayala said, "We believe heroin addiction is a significant public health challenge affecting too many families in our region.   As we employ a multi-tiered strategy to fight heroin, we are proud to have created a template for a Narcan program aimed at first responders that communities can replicate and thus save more lives." 

NACo President Riki Hokama, council member, Maui County, Hawaii, said, "The National Association of Counties applauds county governments that are embracing innovative and more effective ways to serve their constituents. The Achievement Awards recognize counties' outstanding efforts to strengthen services and deliver results for residents across the country."

Nationally, awards are given in 21 different categories that reflect the vast, comprehensive services counties provide. The categories include children and youth, criminal justice, county administration, environmental protection, information technology, health, civic engagement and many more.

The awards will be presented at NACo's 2015 Annual Conference and Exposition July 10-13 in Mecklenburg County, N.C.  

Started in 1970, NACo's annual Achievement Award Program is designed to recognize innovative county government programs. Each nominee is judged on its own merits and not against other applications received.