- Associated Press - Wednesday, October 11, 2017

SHERIDAN, Ind. (AP) - A central Indiana county’s health department is tackling the heroin epidemic by getting the opiate antidote naloxone into the hands of its residents.

More than 50 people attended a town hall meeting with the Hamilton County Health Department on Tuesday night to learn how to save lives by administering the drug sold under the brand Narcan, WRTV reported.

“We’re the healthiest county in Indiana,” said James Ginder, a health department educator. “But we’re not immune to the issues of heroin.”

First responders are working with the health department to teach people about the signs of opiate abuse, how to get rid of old prescription drugs and how to talk to their family members about the issue. So far this year, 34 people in Hamilton County have died from drug overdoses.

“It’s an epidemic,” said Sheridan Police Chief Bob Shock. “I’d like to solve the epidemic if we could.”

The health department distributed 30 doses of naloxone to people who attended the meeting, showed them how to administer it, and told them what to do if the drug does not revive the patient.

The demand for the drug at Tuesday’s meeting was higher than the health department anticipated. It plans to distribute more next week to those who attended but did not receive a dose.

The health department will hold another naloxone information meeting in November in Fishers.

A 2015 state law made the drug more widely available to Indiana residents. Until then, only first responders and emergency workers were permitted to carry the drug.


Information from: WRTV-TV, https://www.theindychannel.com/index.html

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