EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — East Providence is reminding residents that Naloxone is available for free at 10 locations across the city.

The overdose reversal drug is provided inside the city’s “Grab and Know” bags, which also contain other resources, according to EMS Director Capt. John Potvin.

“Just about everybody knows somebody, whether you realize it or not, that is struggling with some type of substance abuse disorder,” Potvin said. “So really, we’re trying to make sure that we can prevent as many deaths as possible.”

The bags can be picked up, no questions asked, at the city’s four fire stations and three libraries, as well as at the police department, senior center and city hall.

One dose of Narcan is included inside the bags, as well as a handout that explains how to use it and information about support services.

“If you feel like you’re ready for help, we can connect you with a recovery coach,” Potvin said.

While the city doesn’t track where the bags go, Potvin tells 12 News they know at least 100 have been taken.

Through 911 calls, the fire department also knows that at least three lives were saved because they had Narcan on hand.

Potvin said one of those success stories came from a person who picked up a bag because a family member suffered from a substance abuse disorder and wanted to have it on hand just in case.

“Then lo and behold, within a short period of time, somebody did overdose and they had the Narcan available,” he explained.

The bags were first offered in 2021, which is when Rhode Island surpassed 400 accidental overdose deaths. Provisional data shows that figure dropped last year, but was still more than 300 deaths.

Mayor Bob DaSilva said the city hopes they can help play a part in fighting the opioid epidemic, which is a statewide issue.

“We’re not immune. It’s in every community and it’s important that people have access to life-saving medicine,” DaSilva said.

The R.I. Department of Health issued a public health alert Wednesday called a Rhode Island Overdose Action Area Response (ROAAR) for nine communities.

From February 12 to February 18, the health department said Region 8 was over its pre-established opioid overdose threshold. Region 8 consists of Jamestown, Bristol, Warren, Portsmouth, Tiverton, Little Compton, Middletown, Newport and Barrington.

The health department explained there were less than five reports of individuals receiving care from an emergency department (ED) for a suspected opioid overdose; the weekly threshold is two.