Health and safety officials in Cleveland and Cuyahoga County hope expanded use of the heroin overdose antidote Narcan will save more lives.
Cleveland EMS Commissioner Nichole Carlton says in the next month, all Cleveland police officers will be trained to administer Narcan. All firefighters have already been trained.
A video guide to saving a life:
City ambulances have been carrying the drug since 1985. But Carlton says last August all ambulances began carrying and distributing Project Dawn kits which contain Narcan and can be used by untrained citizens. And she says residents can also get them at the EMS headquarters.
“We dispense those from Monday through Friday from 9 to 4, and we invite the community to come and receive those. We have dispensed over 200 kits from the EMS headquarters as well as the ambulances. And we have over 30 documented saves. That means someone has come back to replace their kit after they’ve used it. So we’re making an impact on the community and we’ll continue to do so.”
Last year, more than 500 people died in Cuyahoga County from fentanyl and heroin overdoses, but health and safety officials say hundreds of others were saved with Narcan. So far this year there have been more than 100 fatal overdoses.