The Indiana State Department of Health is distributing opioid overdose kits to 34 counties across the state. The kits will be given to emergency response personnel and contain the potentially lifesaving opioid overdose reversal medication, naloxone.
In October 2017, the Indiana State Department of Health was awarded $3.2 million in federal grant money. On Wednesday, January 31, the Department of Health announced that $127,000 of the funding would be allocated toward providing opioid overdose reversal kits to first responders across the state.
The funding will supply both the kits, which contain naloxone, otherwise known by its brand name, Narcan, as well as educating first responders on administering the medication in the event of an overdose. Naloxone can reverse the respiratory arrest that can occur when an individual is overdosing from opioids. When used on a person who has not taken opioids, naloxone has no effect.
The opioid overdose kits will be distributed to 34 counties across Indiana. The Indiana State Department of Health selected the counties, many of which are more rural areas of the state, based on data that helped determine which areas had higher rates of emergency room admissions for overdoses. By providing first responders in rural areas with opioid overdose kits, authorities hope to ensure that even those who are further away from health care providers get the best possible chance for survival in the event of a potentially fatal opioid overdose.
The funding will allow for the purchase of 3,388 opioid overdose kits. In addition to providing the kits and adequate training for their use to first responders, emergency response personnel will also be trained on providing access to addiction recovery treatment for those who have suffered from an opioid overdose. By expanding referrals to addiction recovery programs, authorities are hopeful that more individuals who benefit from the opioid overdose kits will be able to avoid overdosing again.