Narcan shortage concerns

Narcan used to offset side effects of heroin overdose. (WDTN Photo/Paul Rodzinka)
Narcan used to offset side effects of heroin overdose. (WDTN Photo/Paul Rodzinka)

CEDARVILLE, Ohio (WDTN) – Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said he is concerned about the state’s Narcan supplies, as it’s taking more and more doses of the anti-overdose drug to help addicts.

DeWine said the opioid epidemic is a scourge that’s led to all kinds of “horrendous social consequences.”

He spoke with local college students at Cedarville University about the issue on Friday.

At first, it was the abuse of prescription pain medication, then addicts turned to heroin, and now, DeWine said, more and more people are abusing fentanyl.

It’s a highly potent drug used as prescription-only pain relief.

But it requires a larger dose of Narcan to reverse the effects.

“It is taking more of the Narcan to bring people back,” DeWine said.

“Sometimes 6, 7, 8 9 times. I talked to one person yesterday and it took 18 times to bring someone back.”

Running out of the drug, DeWine said, is a real concern.

He said the state is working with drug companies to keep the prices down and to get rebates.

DeWine said when it comes to the opioid crisis, there’s good news and there’s bad news.

The bad news, he said, is obvious.

DeWine said the state is losing “more and more people every single day” to the illegal drug epidemic.

And child services are “bursting at the seams” because parents are addicts and cannot adequately care for their children.

But there is good news.

DeWine said there are a lot of people in Ohio communities “who are really saving lives and making a difference”.

He pointed to his office’s “special heroin unit” where six people work to – not arrest people – but to reach out to communities and pull everyone together.

“What I try to do is to talk about those things that are working,” he said.

“To encourage every community to really band together, come together to fight this horrible, horrible scourge that is really just tearing families apart.”

DeWine said the state has to get in front of the problem, explaining more should be done when it comes to prevention.

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