Health Dept. in Ohio will begin mailing free naloxone kits to residents

COLUMBUS (WCMH) - It’s being called the first program of its kind in Ohio, fighting against the opiate epidemic.

The Licking County Health Department is combining the internet and medicine to potentially help save lives and reduce stigmas. With the help of a state grant, it bought 350 naloxone kits. Starting in January, you can get one delivered to your door and learn how to use it online. It’s free for Licking County residents.

“We were pleased last year that the overdose deaths dropped, but unfortunately this year they’ve crept back up again,” said Licking Co. Health Commissioner Joe Ebel.

He said so far this year 26 people have died from an opiate overdose in the county, up from 18 last year.

“We’re really trying to reduce those fatalities,” he said.

To help, they’ve created a new program that will deliver a naloxone kit to your door.

“We’re making it available online so people can fill out a request, take some training online and then get it mailed to their home,” said Ebel.

He said naloxone, an overdose reversal drug, is available in most pharmacies, but having it delivered to your home breaks down barriers like transportation issues, cost and stigmas associated with drug addiction. Once you’ve started registering online a training video is included to help you learn how to use your new kit.

“You’re still going to call 911 if you find an overdose, but this may help them survive so they have a better chance of making it to the hospital safely until they can get further treatment,” said Ebel. “A lot of people criticize the naloxone program because it’s not a treatment, it’s not recovery, but the fact is that if you don’t survive that overdose you’re never going to have that opportunity to turn your life around.”

To learn more about the program CLICK HERE.

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