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DeWine: All Ohioans should carry Narcan to help prevent overdoses

Published: Sep. 1, 2021 at 3:33 AM EDT|Updated: Sep. 1, 2021 at 3:49 AM EDT
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CINCINNATI (WXIX) - Gov. Mike DeWine, state health officials and addiction recovery experts re-encouraged all Ohioans to consider carrying naloxone to help save a life on Tuesday, International Overdose Awareness Day.

Naxalone, also called Narcan, is the life-saving drug that can reverse opioid overdoses.

“Naloxone has proven to save lives. By getting it into the hands of communities and groups across the state in areas that are experiencing the most overdoses and deaths, we are putting this life-saving opportunity where it is needed most,” Gov. DeWine said in a prepared statement sent out by his office.

Ohio is still working to battle the drug epidemic that has swept through the state.

Overdose deaths in Ohio and the U.S. set a new record over the past year.

Unintentional drug overdose is one of the leading causes of injury death in Ohio, surpassing motor vehicle crashes.

According to RecoveryOhio, in January through November of 2020, there were 4,579 unintentional drug overdose deaths reported.

This is a 24% increase over 2019. Ohio’s medical and first responder communities attribute the increase primarily to fentanyl, a highly addictive and dangerous opioid.

Earlier this year, state officials approved $2.5 million to rapidly deploy 60,000 doses of naloxone to 23 counties struggling with a high burden of overdoses.

Medics across Ohio have been busy responding to a recent surge of overdoses.

DeWine’s goal since taking office has been to tackle the opioid epidemic.

“We need to act aggressively. We need to make mental health and substance use treatment available to every Ohioan who needs help,” he said.

Just last month, Newtown Chief Tom Synan said that they were still averaging 50 to 70 overdoses a week.

In Mt. Auburn BrightView, an addiction treatment center has been working to help save lives with their “Care and Carry” initiative. It provides easy access to Naloxone also known as Narcan a drug that helps reverse symptoms of opioid overdoses.

“This medication it doesn’t cure an overdose, but it definitely buys us some time while EMS is responding,” said Emily Schwarz, Community Outreach Manager for BrightView.

Over the past few years, FOX19 cameras have captured several medics bringing people back to life after administering Narcan.

Now, BrightView is holding training events on how to use Narcan across the state to make sure families or anyone who witnesses an overdose can jump in to help.

They say everyone should keep a dose on them.

“You don’t necessarily need to have somebody in your life being effected by substance abuse disorder to carry naloxone.

Nowadays you see it at your gas station at your Kroger, Dollar General really anywhere. Addiction and substance abuse disorders don’t discriminate,” said Schwarz.

BrightView says while they have seen a record of overdoses this year, they working to reverse that trend. They say that patients who are often revived with Narcan take the next steps to seek addiction treatment.

If you need help with substance abuse you can contact the BrightView 24-hour hotline at 833-510-Help.

To learn more about free distribution of Narcan and training on how to use it visit brightviewhealth.com

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