XENIA — Greene County Public Health recently acquired an allotment of drug overdose prevention kits in a local attempt to fight the growth of opioid-related deaths throughout the state.
The Project DAWN (Death Avoided with Naloxone) kits, which use naloxone (also known as Narcan), to reverse an overdose, will be distributed to local police departments and first responders.
According to Greene County Public Health Educator Kirsten Bean, the kits are safe and easy to use.
“If [first responders] come across somebody that they believe is overdosing … they take the syringe out … they plug it into a nasal atomizer and they spray it up that person’s nose,” Bean said. “If you use it on somebody that’s not overdosing, it’s not going to harm them.
“So say they find someone that’s passed out and it turns out that they were diabetic … and went into shock, if you administer naloxone to them, it’s not going to hurt them. Or if you have somebody that’s overdosing on something else like a barbiturate, it’s not going to hurt them if you use naloxone on them.”
Each kit comes with two doses of the medication. According to Greene County Public Health, when administered during an overdose, naloxone blocks the effects of opioids on the brain and quickly restores breathing.
DAWN kits are also available to the public free of charge through TCN Behavioral Health Services. Individuals must go through a training course to receive a kit. Training events will be held each month in 2016. Participants must be at least 18 years old. For more information or to reserve a spot, call TCN at 937-376-8700.