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ELKHORN — Open Arms Free Clinic in Elkhorn is partnering with the Walworth County Drug and Alcohol Coalition to provide free NARCAN (naloxone) to those in our community starting Wednesday, December 1, 2021.

NARCAN is a lifesaving medication that can be administered to an individual in the event of an opiate overdose.

Officials in Walworth County, like many other counties across the state, have seen an increase in opiate-related overdose deaths in the last several years, according to a news release.

The private, community-based nonprofit, Walworth County Drug and Alcohol Coalition (WALCO DAC) began in July 2017 in effort to address the growing opioid epidemic. 

DAC is working to increase community wide awareness of the scope of the problem and resources available to help, changing the perception of addiction from a moral failing to a chronic disease. 

WalCo DAC participates in the NARCAN Direct Program through the Wisconsin State Department of Health Services. 

The program has provided NARCAN free of charge to anyone that requests it, with just a simple training. 

Traditionally available through community in-person trainings, the Coalition reached out to Open Arms to develop novel approaches to overcome the pandemic-related barriers.

Open Arms strives to improve access to basic health care has provided free medical, dental and counseling services to over 4,000 low-income, uninsured Walworth County residents to date.

In addition, during the past 18 months, Open Arms has demonstrated reaching the general community with providing access to free COVID-19 testing and COVID-19 vaccine to individuals age 5 years and older.

Through the thoughtful discussions with Open Arms board of directors and the medical team leadership, adding dispensing of NARCAN for the general population in partnership with Walco DAC was consistent with the the mission to eliminate barriers to access.

The road to recovery is not linear. Providing this medication to people affected by substance use disorder and their families is a way to keep them alive until they receive the treatment they need. 

The free kit is available to anyone who requests it, there is no disclosure of substance use to be able to attain the nasal spray medication.

Dispensing will be provided by trained staff at Open Arms staring WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2021 during regular business hours listed above. No appointment is necessary.

If you or someone you know needs crisis support 24/7, text HOME to 741741.
For more information about WalCo DAC, visit

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By Dan Plutchak

Dan Plutchak launched Walworth County Community News in 2021. He is the former editor of The Week and Walworth County Sunday.