The Project Save Lives Program
A Program With Purpose
Project Save Lives, a Jacksonville Florida based program helping to educate the market on the importance of drug testing while offering immediate in-hospital treatment for overdose patients, was enacted on November 16th, 2017 with support from Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry, as the city continues its fight against the deadly opioid epidemic.
The purpose of the pilot program, currently operating out of St. Vincent’s Medical Center – Riverside is to establish a program within Duval County that provides specialized, coordinated services for the treatment of opioid addiction and misuse, thereby reducing dependence on opioid drugs. The voluntary services are provided by healthcare providers and include, but are not limited to treatment for withdraw, medication assisted therapy and seamless transfer to residential and/or outpatient treatment.
Data from a participant in the program drug test results, released March 7th of 2018, support yet another deadly trend. Shifting from one to drug to another, dealers are lacing fentanyl and potent fentanyl analogs with prescription pills, heroin and now cocaine (as indicated in the chart below); in many cases unknowingly by the individuals who have taken the drug.
Illicit Drugs/Medications Detected
City of Jacksonville Opioid Pilot Project Status Report – March 7, 2018
A Growing Concern
Dr. Raymond Pomm (The creator of Project Save Lives) in an interview with News4(JAX) states “Innocent people who are using cocaine are going to start and have been overdosing and dying.”
There is growing concern fentanyl laced cocaine will affect an entirely new population of the public, increasing the risk of accidental overdose and opioid dependence. Through continued support efforts and data collection, those involved with Project Save Lives look to bring increased awareness to this growing concern and as a result look to save the lives of those who may otherwise have overdosed from this deadly combination.
Premier Biotech Labs runs extensive LC-MS/MS confirmation testing for the presence of fentanyl and fentanyl analogues on all urine samples provided by Project Save Lives participants.
“The data we are capturing through the Project Save Lives pilot program supports the need for fentanyl testing, both parent drug and the synthetic analogues. If emergency departments, treatment providers and other programs are not testing for fentanyl, we could be missing critical information that enables the most effective treatment for patients.” says Casey Michalik, vice president of Premier Biotech.
Lifesaving stabilization for opioid overdose and treatment for withdrawal symptoms are provided seven days a week in the Emergency Departments. Residential, outpatient and Peer services are offered Thursday through Sunday. Overdose patients once stabilized, are still provided with information on local treatment options and recovery services with the ability to receive Nasal Narcan at no cost.
Project Save Lives shows continued momentum and increased interest from other hospitals and treatment providers throughout the State of Florida. The program has now expanded to the St. Vincent’s Southside Emergency Department and expects increased patient participation requiring support and recovery services.
Premier Biotech is proud to support this life saving program along with partnership support from the City of Jacksonville and organizations throughout Duval County including: Jacksonville Fire and Rescue, River Region Human Services, Gateway Community Services, and UF Health.