The Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) has awarded nearly $150,000 worth of overdose reversal kits to local health departments in 20 Indiana counties to help prevent fatal opioid overdoses.
More than 3,400 kits containing naloxone hydrochloride, also known by the trade name Narcan®, will be distributed among the 20 counties. Naloxone hydrochloride is a medication that is proven to be a safe and effective way to quickly reverse the life-threatening effects of opioid overdose.
“We have seen the toll that the national opioid epidemic has taken on individuals, their families and their communities,” said State Health Commissioner Jerome Adams, M.D., M.P.H. “These rescue kits will give local health departments the tools they need to protect lives in their communities and will give individuals struggling with substance use disorder the second chance they need to get on a path to recovery.”
In 2010, Indiana saw 54 deaths caused by heroin overdose. In 2014, there were 170 heroin-related deaths, 452 opioid deaths and 2,822 non-fatal drug poisoning-related emergency department visits due to opioid overdoses. Other opioids such as oxycodone, hydrocodone and other prescription painkillers add to this number.
The goal of the award is to expand the distribution of naloxone kit programs across Indiana and to increase education about the state law that provides immunity for lay responders to carry and administer the lifesaving medication.
Counties were selected based on criteria outlined in a request for proposals. The recipients are:
In addition to providing naloxone kits to the counties mentioned above, ISDH offers a website where people can locate naloxone kits, and entities such as pharmacies, hospitals, nonprofits and local health departments can register as naloxone providers. To find a naloxone dispenser near you, or to register as a dispenser, visit www.optin.in.gov.
For information on treatment for substance use disorder, visit the Family and Social Services Administration’s Division of Mental Health and Addiction website at http://www.in.gov/fssa/dmha.