GROVE CITY, OHIO (WCMH) – The Franklin County Opiate Crisis Task Force is helping arm families and friends of addicts with Naloxone or Narcan.
It’s a life-saving antidote that reverses the effects of a heroin or opiate overdose. On Tuesday, the task force held it’s 2nd Naloxone community training event in Grove City.
“It’s so easy. I don’t know why anybody wouldn’t want to do it or learn how to do it,” said Jeff Kauderer.
Kauderer came to the training for one, simple reason.
“Hopefully you will help save a life,” he said.
Unlike many of the people who come to training sessions like this, Kauderer doesn’t have anyone close to him that’s struggling with addiction.
“I’m certified in first aide. I’m certified in CPR,” he said. “There’s no reason you shouldn’t be certified in use of Narcan.”
The Franklin County Coroner said they’ve seen a sharp spike in fentanyl-related overdose deaths already this year. Dr. Anahi Ortiz said she’s seen 80 overdose deaths so far in January and February of 2017, 40% of them were fentanyl-related. Fentanyl is an opiate much more potent than heroin and therefore, even more deadly.
“They feared for their lives,” said Dr. Ortiz. “They wanted to be armed with Naloxone in case the worst would happen.”
At the training, 50 participants got free Narcan or Naloxone kits to take home.
“They want these kits so fast because they say, ‘My son, my daughter, my loved one is an addict and I need this to keep them alive,'” said Mount Carmel Outreach med tech Steve Roth.
Roth was a medic for 30 years.
“Hopefully someone in the community, someone in their camp is going to have one of these kits and going to be able to help them in time to make that choice to get into rehab and get off of heroin,” he said.
He hopes addicts saved with Narcan will get treatment.
“Narcan itself is not going to get them off of heroin, but it’s going to give them the chance to make that choice,” said Roth.
Dr. Ortiz said they are planning another Naloxone community training event for the Hilltop area in May.
You can also buy Narcan or Naloxone without a prescription at the pharmacy.