Senate health care bill could impact local supply of Narcan

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)

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Montgomery County health officials are worried about the proposed Senate health care bill’s impact on the region’s opioid epidemic.

The Montgomery County Alcohol, Drug and Mental Health Services (ADAMHS) board says 40-percent of the region’s Narcan (a medicine that reverses the effects of an overdose) is covered by Medicaid.

“The loss of those dollars, especially, during an opioid epidemic such as the one we’re facing now would be catastrophic. Those are the dollars for most citizens getting services that allow them to get back to a level or recovery,” said ADAMHS executive director, Helen Jones-Kelley.

She says cutting those dollars when the county is on track to triple last year’s opioid overdoses doesn’t make sense.

ADAMHS is not at risk of running out of Narcan right now, but if the Senate health care bill passes it could put the supply in jeopardy, according to Jones-Kelley.

She says a lot of funding comes from a levy but the county can’t afford to make up the difference.

“You can imagine the deaths that are going to occur cause we don’t have that tool (Narcan) at our fingertips to utilize. It’s devastating, just the thought of the loss of the dollars and I can’t understand why anyone would even consider that kind of funding proposal,” said Jones-Kelley.

Last year, Montgomery County ADAMHS assisted over 19,000 Medicaid recipients. So far this year, they report having already served 17,000.

 

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