50 Twin Cities bars and restaurants get Naloxone kits

Naloxone could help save someone at a Twin Cities bar experiencing an overdose (FOX 9)

Fifty Twin Cities bars and restaurants will receive Naloxone kits this month, as industry leaders look for ways to save lives during an unprecedented rise in overdose deaths.

Non-profit Serving Those Serving has partnered with Southside Harm Reduction Services to deliver the kits free of charge, as they say, they’re seeing more overdoses at bars and nightclubs.

"We are on the front lines whether we want to be or not," said Sarah Norton of Serving Those Serving. "So, the better prepared we can be to take care of people the better off we all are."

Opioid deaths in Minnesota have been on the upward trend since 2000, but deaths spiked during the first year of the pandemic. Southside Harm Reduction says if someone overdoses in a bar, having Naloxone on hand could mean the difference between life and death.

"Minutes really matter in an overdose," said Kor Pace of Southside Harm Reduction. "Being able to get the Naloxone in someone right away, and the more people who are trained to be able to identify an overdose and respond, the better."

At Dark Horse Bar and Eatery, bar manager Brian McCulloch accepted the free kit despite never having an incident in their bar.

"Obviously, I hope we never need to use it but it's here if we do," said McCulloch. "It's better to have it and not need it than not have it and need it."

Norton says all 50 kits are already spoken for, but Southside Harm Reduction says they will deliver a kit free of charge to any establishment that needs one.