- Associated Press - Monday, September 21, 2015

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Louisiana’s health department says a manufacturer has donated 8,640 doses of an emergency treatment for overdoses of heroin and related drugs.

Health and Hospitals Secretary Kathy Kliebert said Monday officials are working to get the naloxone auto-injectors to local police and fire departments statewide for emergency medical services.

Authorities say heroin use rose 63 percent from 2002 to 2012, while the rate of heroin-related overdose deaths nearly quadrupled. And they say prescription opioids are a major reason that drugs now cause more accidental deaths than car wrecks.

Preliminary state figures for 2012 indicate that 324 people died in Louisiana from overdoses of heroin, natural and synthetic “opioid” painkillers, and methadone.

A state news release says kaléo, a pharmaceutical company based in Richmond, Virginia, donated the Evzio auto-injectors.

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