Portsmouth Piloting Drug Overdose Nasal Spray Program

By
WOUB Staff Writer

Dateline
Updated Fri, Mar 30, 2012 8:18 am

One Southeast Ohio health department is heading up a statewide pilot program aimed at preventing accidental opiate deaths.

The tool they hope will help save lives is nasal spray.
 
In 2010, four Ohioans died of an unintentional drug overdose every single day.
 
Lisa Roberts, a public health nurse with the Portsmouth City Health Department, said 87 percent of the time in Scioto County, the people who died of overdose had a witness. 
 
She said in rural counties it could take up to 20 minutes for an ambulance to arrive which in many cases is too late.
 
The pilot program is called PROJECT DAWN - Deaths Avoided With Naloxone. 
 
Naloxone is a liquid prescription medication that works to reverse an overdose caused by an opiate drug.
 
If it works, Roberts says there should be a noticeable improvement in the drug user within two to five minutes.
 
The Portsmouth City Health Department hopes to have 100 kits at $25 each available starting in mid-April.
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