- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 25, 2015

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - The three Kentucky hospitals that treat the most heroin overdoses are getting reversal kits to hand out to patients.

Media report that the kits will go to University Hospital in Louisville, the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, and St. Elizabeth Hospital in northern Kentucky.

The kits contain naloxone, which can restart breathing in people who have overdosed.

The initiative to hand out 2,000 kits was announced Tuesday by first lady Jane Beshear and Attorney General Jack Conway.

The pilot program is being funded through Kentucky’s Substance Abuse Treatment Advisory Committee.

“I’ve had a lot of people come up to me and say, ‘Why give them overdose kits? You’re just enabling them,’” Conway said. “My response is, ‘It’s awfully tough to enable someone when they’re dead.’ So this is about saving lives. And the person that is most likely to overdose is someone who has overdosed previously.”

University Hospital emergency room physician Tim Price said overdose deaths are caused when people stop breathing. The kits can help by reversing the drug’s effect, but it has to be administered quickly.

“Hopefully it will save lives,” he said.

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