Nichole Hannahs

An Antidote to Overdose

by Nichole Hannahs on February 20, 2014 at 6:55 am

A piece of legislation makes it way through state government that would provide a drug overdose antidote to friends and family of addicts without risk of prosecution.

The drug Naloxone is a nose spray that goes immediately into the blood stream of the addict, blocking opiate receptors. The drug forces heroin and painkillers from landing and allows the body to process it out.

Fatal overdoses from heroin and painkillers are the leading cause of death in Ohio, surpassing car crashes.

"From the time you call 911 until an ambulance gets there a lot of these people die," explained Muskingum Behavioral Health’s Steve Carrel. "If Naloxone is there on sight it can be administered almost immediately and an overdose avoided."

A pilot program in the state has already seen great results. 14 people who would have died from overdose were saved because of the access to Naloxone. For those who believe this may give addicts the license to use, Carrel said think again.

"Most people with heroin addiction have this fantasy that it’s never going to happen to them. It’s always the other guy. So, that’s not really a big issue. Once a person’s gotten into addiction the drive is to get high," said Carrel.

The bill now goes back to the Ohio House where they’ll consider changes made in the Senate. People administering the drug would be immune from prosecution as long as they obtained it through proper channels.