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Capital BlueCross Gives $100,000 to Provide Police Officers with Naloxone

Medication reverses heroin and opioid overdoses

ALLENTOWN (Dec. 23, 2015) - Capital BlueCross today reaffirmed its commitment to arming police officers with naloxone, the medication that reverses heroin overdoses, with an additional $100,000 contribution. Capital BlueCross is committed to its tradition as a strong community partner and doing what it can to help stem the growing heroin crisis in Pennsylvania.

This $100,000 is the second round of funding to help fight heroin addiction. In 2014, Capital BlueCross donated $50,000 to provide naloxone to police officers, bringing the company’s total financial commitment to $150,000.

Naloxone works by blocking the opioid receptors in the brain and temporarily restores breathing in someone who has overdosed on heroin or prescription painkillers. It is easily administered by being sprayed into each nostril.

“This contribution means more people will be given a second chance at life. Naloxone has already saved countless lives. They are mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, friends and neighbors in our community,” said Gary D. St. Hilaire, President and CEO of Capital BlueCross. “As a company, Capital BlueCross is committed to helping people live healthy lives. This will help put more people on the road to recovery and to a healthier future.” 

“On behalf of all the people whose lives will be saved by this generous donation, I thank Capital BlueCross. For the second time, they have stepped forward as a leader in fighting the worst overdose death epidemic this state has ever seen,” said Sect. Gary Tennis, Dept. of Drug and Alcohol Programs. “With this money, we have the potential to help not only hundreds of people with the disease of addiction, but the thousands of family members and friends whose lives are also affected. We are truly grateful for Capital BlueCross' compassion and leadership.”

The money to purchase naloxone will be distributed by the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association in Capital BlueCross’ 21-county service area. This will allow municipal police departments and campus police to buy the life-saving drug. Officers will carry naloxone and are trained to administer it on someone who is experiencing a potentially fatal overdose.

"As District Attorney, I believe that preventing drug abuse and helping people beat their addictions is part of the solution to the growing drug abuse crisis,” said James B. Martin, Lehigh County District Attorney. “Capital BlueCross’ commitment to public health and safety in the Lehigh Valley is the kind of community-minded collaborative effort that solves problems and gets things done. Working together, our police will now be able to carry naloxone and save lives."

Naloxone is not addictive and its only use is to reverse the effects of a fatal opioid drug overdose.

According to the Pennsylvania Dept. of Drug and Alcohol Programs, over 500 overdoses were reversed by officers carrying naloxone in Pennsylvania in the past year.

About Capital BlueCross

Capital BlueCross, headquartered in Harrisburg, Pa., is the leading health solutions and insurance company in central Pennsylvania and the Lehigh Valley. A partner in the community’s health for more than 75 years, Capital BlueCross offers insurance products, services and technology solutions that provide peace of mind to consumers and promote health and wellness for our members.

More than an insurer, the company delivers innovative solutions through a family of diversified businesses that are creating a healthier future and lowering health care costs. Among those solutions are patient-focused care models, private exchanges, leading-edge analytics, and digital health technologies. Additionally, Capital BlueCross is growing a network of Capital Blue stores that provide in-person service and inspiration to help people reach their health goals. Capital BlueCross is an independent licensee of the BlueCross BlueShield Association. For more information, visit capbluecross.com.