Montana AG has Show and Tell with Fentanyl Reversal Kit

Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) – Radio is not a visual medium, but Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen was in Missoula on Wednesday and brought the new ‘Opioid Reversal Kit’ to the KGVO Talk Back Studio to highlight the seriousness of the to underline fentanyl crisis in Montana.

“For the last few days we’ve been walking around with a great non-profit organization called Voices of Awareness,” Knudsen began. “You’ve put together a kit that the Department of Justice here in Montana takes very seriously. It looks like a first aid kit. You open this box and inside is a small white steel box that you can mount on a wall. It looks like a first aid kit. But actually it is an opioid reversal kit.”

It looks like a “first aid kit” but it’s for overdoses

Knudsen described the contents of the opioid reversal kit.

“What we have in this thing is a dose of naloxone, aka narcan,” he said. “It’s a very fast-acting opioid inhibitor, which is our main line of defense against fentanyl. It’s great stuff. It’s administered nasally and literally blocks the opioid receptors in your brain, and we can often see almost instantaneous reversals to pull someone out of an overdose.”

Funding the kits from opioid settlement funds

Knudsen explained where the funds came from to provide these kits statewide.

“In the state of Montana, through the Justice Department, we’re starting to get a pretty big amount of money from one of our big opioid settlements,” he said. “Now that’s the actual opioid makers after a large group of states banded together and sued because the opioid industry pushed prescription opioids. We’ve reached a great deal and these fentanyl first aid kits could be a great way for us to spend some of that money. We want to bring these things to schools and public places in Montana and hopefully we can do something good with that.”

Knudsen provided the following statistics on overdoses in Montana:

Preliminary data from public safety and health officials across the state shows that there have been 987 drug overdoses this year — 846 nonfatal and 141 fatal — as of Nov. 15. In 2021 there were a total of 977 – 834 non-fatal and 143 fatal.’

Knudsen said all fentanyl in Montana comes from the southern border

Knudsen emphasized the fact that all fentanyl entering Montana comes straight through the wide-open southern border. He recounted an incident after being invited to Texas and witnessed Secretary of Homeland Security Alexander Majorcas cancel a crackdown on illegal immigration.

“We ended up getting a very thorough briefing from Governor Abbott himself from the head of the Texas Department of Public Safety to just see how big the problem is,” he said. β€œThe state of Texas appropriated $4 billion with a ‘B’ to enforce border security because the FBI just went out of their job. And the Texans are paying for it. But what we realize is that it’s not just Texas, it’s all of us states. I mean, there are no more border states. 100% of the fentanyl I was talking about comes across the southern border.”

It was announced Wednesday that Knudsen had been elected vice chair of the Republican Attorneys General Association.

Click here to listen to the hour-long interview with Attorney General Austin Knudsen.

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