Ohio has made good progress on making Naloxone available over-the-counter at pharmacies and to first responders through the Project DAWN sites instrumented by the Ohio Department of Health, according to state officials working with the governor’s cabinet on drug abuse and the opioid crises.
Those efforts will continue to expand this year with $1 million in funding as more drug overdose remedies are made available to communities in desperate need.
Mark Hurst is among the officials working in the governor’s team on the opioid crisis. Hurst is the medical director of the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services. During an interview July 27 with reporters at Rhodes State Office Tower in Columbus, Hurst said the state will increase the availability of Naloxone in Ohio because it’s necessary to save lives in the event of a drug overdose. Naloxone, also known as Narcan, is a medication that can reverse the effects of an overdose and prevent death.
To expand the availability of this life-saving medication, the state’s Project DAWN (Deaths Avoided With Naloxone) was allocated $1 million this year.
Project DAWN is a state-wide program that distributes, educates and trains people on how to use Naloxone kits in the event of a drug overdose.
“Both in the previous financial budget and in this budget, our department was given funding by the General Assembly for provision of Naloxone to all 88 counties, given to the health departments for distribution to first responders,” said Hurst.
According to state data, the funding provided to the county health authorities in 2016 allowed for the purchase of more than 8,200 Project DAWN kits state-wide and directly led to more than 2,300 lives saved. The state expects the number of lives saved with Project DAWN in 2017 to be even higher.
“We think that’s something very helpful and it’s made available to all 88 counties in differing amounts. It has been highly utilized, it has been highly effective,” said Hurst.
The Fayette County Health Department provides Naloxone to first responders and the sheriff’s office. Currently, the Fayette County Health Department does not provide Naloxone kits to friends or family members of people who abuse opioids.
Four pharmacies that carry Naloxone in Fayette County are listed on the state’s website and provide Naloxone over-the-counter. The pharmacies are all located in Washington Court House: CVS Pharmacy, 1795 Columbus Ave., Fayette Pharmacy, 1122 Columbus Ave., Kroger Pharmacy, 548 Clinton Ave., and Walgreens, 1240 Columbus Ave.
The process to obtain a Naloxone kit over-the-counter at the pharmacy takes about 20 minutes, according to one local pharmacist. The person requesting the Naloxone kit will be asked to show identification and will be provided with education about how to use the kit. The cost for a Naloxone kit is about $58 and includes two doses.
Reach Ashley by calling her at 740-313-0355 or by searching Twitter.com for @ashbunton