Ohio is urging drug users' relatives and friends to know signs of an overdose and obtain an antidote as part of a new, six-month public awareness campaign.
The Department of Health says the effort launching Monday targets 15 counties including Hamilton, Butler, Warren and Clermont. Those areas have been hit hard by overdose deaths related to the potent, synthetic painkiller fentanyl, which can be laced with heroin or disguised to look like less powerful painkillers.
The department encourages drug users' loved ones to get the overdose antidote naloxone – also known as Narcan. It can be acquired without a prescription and administered even before emergency responders arrive.
The department's medical director says even if Naloxone is on hand, it's important that someone call 911 if an overdose is suspected.
State officials asked the CDC for help in September after seeing a huge spike in deaths connected to fentanyl.
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