Orange County

‘It could save a life’: Orlando outreach center to provide Narcan to public for free

ORLANDO, Fla. — An Orlando outreach center is about to start providing the opioid-overdose-reversing drug, Narcan, for free.

For years, The Center on Mills Avenue has provided free HIV testing, counseling and a place for community, and now it’s adding Narcan to the list.

“It was a no brainer for me, because anything we can get for the community in need, we're all for it,” Executive Director George Wallace said.

READ: Medics use Narcan to revive 10-month-old girl, parents charged with child abuse

In February, The Center will receive 50 boxes of Narcan, which is a total of 100 doses, to be given to the public, no questions asked.

The nasal spray is being provided through a Department of Children and Families grant. The spray works to reverse an opioid overdose, sometimes bringing people who have taken too much heroin or fentanyl back to life.

“I don't think it enables an addiction, it could save a life, and hopefully that person will then go into treatment,” Wallace said.

WATCH: Officers use Narcan to revive twin brothers found overdosing at Wendy’s

Without Narcan, people who overdose end up at the office of Medical Examiner Dr. Joshua Stephany. As of the beginning of November 2019, his office had already seen 180 fentanyl-related deaths and 61 heroin-related deaths for the year. He’s still calculating final numbers for the year.

“The more available it is, the better, in my opinion,” Stephany said.

Stephany points out you can’t overuse Narcan, and there is no harm if you’re accidentally sprayed. He hopes by making it more widely available, it will keep people out of his morgue.

“If you save that one person, and they realize they’ve hit rock bottom, you may be saving one life,” Stephany said.

Karla Ray

Karla Ray,

Karla Ray anchors Eyewitness News This Morning on Saturday and Sundays, and is an investigative reporter for the 9 Investigates unit.