YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The heroin epidemic hit one Ohio town hard at the end of last week.
Fire and emergency crews in Marion, just 50 miles north of Columbus, used all but two doses of its Narcan supply. They had 11 overdoses, including two deaths, in just 24 hours.
Here in the Valley, overdose calls keep Lane LifeTrans EMS crews busy. In April, they averaged one-and-a half drug overdoses a day. Each time, they used Narcan, which is a drug used to revive victims.
“In most cases, any time we give Narcan, we’re going to transport,” Randall Pugh of Lane LifeTrans said.
That has meant a 50 percent increase in the past six months on hospital transports for overdoses, with many of them heroin-related.
“We have an exchange system with the hospital. So, once we use it, we get replenished,” Pugh said.
The Mahoning County Sheriff’s Department said its supply of Narcan is fully stocked. Deputies check out a kit and return it after each shift.
“Initially, we purchased 50 kits. It was for our own officers as well as additional departments and agencies that we were going to train to use the product,” Sheriff Jerry Greene said.
The training helped a Poland Township officer save a man’s life in April.
“I’m only aware of two agencies that we did the training for that actually utilized it and were successful with the Narcan,” Greene said.
Each kit costs the sheriff’s department about $88. Greene said the Ohio Attorney General’s office also offers a $6 rebate per kit. He said the money to pay for the kits is fitting, too.
“We pay for our kits out of our drug seizure and drug forfeiture money. I can’t think of a better way to spend that money than to buy Narcan,” Greene said.