Metro’s usage of the life-saving drug Narcan soars

Local News

NASHVILLE, Tenn., (WKRN) — Three months into 2021, and the overdose numbers are alarming.

There are many barometers when gauging the seriousness of the opioid crisis. However, the amount of the life-saving drug Narcan used is an indicator of how many life and death incidents are happening in the area.

Trevor Henderson, the Director of Opioid Response and Reduction programs for the Metro Public Health Department, told News 2, “We were on a very bad trajectory at the end of last year. And going into the beginning of this year, that has not leveled off at all.”

The Nashville Fire Department supplied News 2 Narcan data going back 10 years, starting in 2011.

In 2011, EMT’s gave out a total of 361 doses for the entire year.

In 2020, the amount of Narcan given to patients was 3,029 – almost ten times as much.

Through February 2021, the Nashville Fire Department has already administered 422 doses of Narcan.

That number is on pace with last year, by all accounts a horrific year for overdoses in the Music City.

Henderson said, “You look at things like fentanyl in particular, at the end of 2020, over 80% of our deaths involved fentanyl at that point in time. The year before that, it was around 60%. So, it is truly frightening.”

Nashville Fire Department Narcan Usage

  • 2011: 361
  • 2012: 387
  • 2013: 371
  • 2014: 408
  • 2015: 583
  • 2016: 720
  • 2017: 920
  • 2018: 1,777
  • 2019: 2,268
  • 2020: 3,029

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