Washington County Sheriff Brent Miller announced Tuesday that all Washington County Sheriff cruisers will be carrying the opioid overdose reversal agent naloxone.
This medication is an opioid antagonist—meaning that it binds to opioid receptors and can reverse and block the effects of other opioids.
It can very quickly restore normal breathing to a person that has slowed or stopped breathing due to an opioid overdose.
The use of naloxone has already made a difference in the community when it saved the life of an 18-year-old, according to Miller.
Detective Brad Naugle was called to the scene of an overdose in a remote area of the county and was able to administer the medicine to save the young man’s life.
“With the large geographic area of our county, officers carrying this overdose reversal drug with them can help save a life. In addition, having this product on hand makes our law enforcement officers safer,” said Miller.
Police officers can be exposed to dangerous drugs, like fentanyl, while on duty. Fentanyl can cause an overdose if touched or in cases of accidental needle sticks. Carrying naloxone provides these officers a lifeline in the field.
Governor Eric J. Holcomb and the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration have funded nearly $1 million toward the distribution of naloxone, making it possible for our officers to have the medication in their cruisers. Funds were made available by the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s state opioid response grant.
Overdose Lifeline, Inc., an Indiana nonprofit helping individuals, families and communities affected by drug addiction through advocacy, education, harm reduction, prevention, resources, and support have helped to distribute the naloxone throughout the state.
Naloxone is available for free for families in need and can also be purchased at most local pharmacies and is available without a prescription.
If you, a family member, or caregiver, would benefit from a free supply of naloxone please visit www.overdoelifeline.org/2020-indiana-naloxone-request and request your dose today.