State to help supply counties the heroin overdose drug

WLFI File Photo
WLFI File Photo

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Indiana Department of Health has plans in place to provide doses of the overdose drug naloxone in case there is a shortage.

State health department officials say they’ll have 50 just-in-case doses in each of the state’s ten public health districts so first responders can use those if they exhaust their own supplies.

More than a dozen people overdosed on opiates in the Jennings County in the span of a few hours on Aug. 24, exhausting their supply. Indianapolis Emergency Medical Services was able to assist and sent Jennings County 100 naloxone doses.

The incident sparked the idea for a statewide naloxone rapid distribution repository to avert similar situations.

Deputy state health commissioner Jennifer Walthall tells the Indianapolis Star that “naloxone needs to be in play at the time of need.”

Walthall said the approximately $100,000 cost of the repository will come from a more than $519,000 grant the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gave the state Health Department in August.

Walthall also said rural counties most likely will be the repository’s beneficiaries because first responders in Indianapolis and other urban areas don’t have trouble keeping sufficient naloxone in stock.

The Indiana State Department of Health plans to have the cases in each of the state’s public health districts by the end of the year.

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