GOSHEN TOWNSHIP, Ohio (WKBN) – A tiny bottle of Naloxone, or Narcan, may mean the difference between life and death for many people in the Valley.
Narcan has been a huge help for officers in reversing drug overdoses almost instantly. And as heroin use and overdoses increase, the need for Narcan is even greater.
The drug is used across the state. It helps reverse opiate drug overdoses, such as heroin and certain prescription drugs.
“Heroin, as we see in the neighboring agencies, is getting to be a very big deal. So it is something I think is going to be very good and it is something that is very needed,” Goshen Township Police Chief Steven McDaniel said.
In Mahoning County, Sheriff Jerry Greene is sending one of his deputies to rural areas across the county. He wants to make sure all officers get proper training to help with dangerous drug usage and overdoses, especially since police are generally first on the scene in those areas.
“Part of my belief is many of them are in rural areas. Those officers will get to the scene 5, 10, 15 minutes before medical gets to the scene and if it is an overdose, time is of the essence,” Greene said.
About a week ago, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine sent a letter to the maker of the drug asking for a $6 rebate per dose for police departments across the state. The company recently did a similar rebate for the state of New York.
The goal is to make sure the drug is affordable enough for police departments to help with an increase in overdoses.
McDaniel said it is important the department’s take advantage of the training.
“A lot of officers don’t get the proper training they need. With this training, they come to you,” he said.
In 2012, there were more than 10,000 doses of the drug given in the Buckeye State.
According to the Ohio Department of Health, drug overdose deaths cost Ohioans nearly $5 million every year in direct medical costs.