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New ReviveAR App Can Save Lives from Opioids

While progress has been made in the opioid epidemic in Arkansas, the numbers are still troubling. According to the Department of Health Emergency Medical Services and Trauma Branch, in 2023, there were:  

  • 415 fatal overdoses, down from 591 in 2022 
  • 3,936 non-fatal overdoses, up from 3,850 in 2022 
  • 4,270 naloxone administration incidences: down from 4,318 in 2022 

Nationally, in 2021, over 75% of drug overdose deaths were from opioids, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This includes heroin, fentanyl and misused prescription opioids like oxycodone, hydrocodone, morphine and codeine. In 2021, 45 people nationally died each day from a prescription opioid overdose, totaling nearly 17,000 deaths. Prescription opioids were involved in nearly 21% of all opioid overdose deaths in 2021. 

What are the risks? 

Prescription opioids can help reduce pain after surgery or injury, however they can be highly addictive to some people. Risks may be higher for those with a history of:  

  • Alcohol overuse and using other substances to get high  
  • Substance use disorder within the family  
  • Mental illness, including depression or anxiety  
  • Long-term chronic pain  
  • Taking opioids more often than prescribed 

Avoiding opioid overdoses 

Opioids can slow breathing and lead to an overdose death. People are at an increased risk of overdose if they use opioids with substances that cause sleepiness, like alcohol.  

Signs of an overdose include: 

  • Cannot be awakened or is unable to speak  
  • Vomiting or making gurgling noises  
  • Limp body that may seem lifeless  
  • Fingernails or lips that have turned blue or purple
  • Extremely pale or feels clammy to the touch

What does the ReviveAR app do?

  • Recognize the Signs: ReviveAR helps you identify the signs of an opioid-related drug overdose, ensuring quick and informed responses.
  • Family Support: Access resources for grief support and find assistance for caregivers and parents of dependents battling substance use. You’re not alone!
  • ARORP Projects: Stay in the loop with information about ARORP-funded projects, contributing to a healthier and stronger Arkansas.
  • Naloxone Tutorial: The app provides a step-by-step tutorial and audio instructions on how to use Naloxone – a crucial medication that rapidly reverses opioid overdoses.
  • Recovery Resources: Connect with local treatment and recovery resources, fostering a supportive community for those on their recovery journey.
  • Drug Take Back: ReviveAR lists Arkansas Take Back locations statewide, offering a safe space to drop off unused or expired drugs. Let’s keep our communities safe!

Have naloxone on hand 

Naloxone (brand name Narcan) is a nasal spray that can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose … if you have it and know how to use it. Did you know Arkansas pharmacists can provide naloxone at no cost to the requester? If someone in your life struggles with opioids, ask your local pharmacist to put this life-saving power in your hands and download the ReviveAR app to learn how to use it. 

Safer drug disposal 

If you have unused or expired medicines, don’t flush them or dump them in the trash. The safest way to dispose of medications is to turn them in at a designated disposal site. To find a location near you, visit the Arkansas Drug Take Back website and type in your ZIP code or city and state. Red markers indicate permanent disposal sites, while blue markers signal sites only active on National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, April 27.  

If you must dispose of your medications in the trash: 

  • Mix opioids (do not crush) with used coffee grounds or kitty litter in a bag and throw them away.  
  • Remove personal information from the prescription label before disposal.  
  • NEVER flush medications down the toilet. 

Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield health plans provide resources to help with substance use and addiction. Members on an Arkansas Blue Cross health plan can go to or sign in to the Blueprint Portal to find resources and programs available.

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