Family members, friends and coworkers of someone who uses opioid drugs should have a Narcan rescue kit on hand, as should anyone in recovery from an opioid problem. Narcan (naloxone) is a medication that stops and reverses an opioid overdose. The Lorain County Opioid Action Team (LCOAT) provides free Narcan rescue kits and trainings for anyone who wants to prevent an opioid overdose death. Pick up a Narcan rescue kit from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., on June 4, 5 and 6 at Shell Gas Station parking lot, 905 Lorain Blvd. in Elyria.
Someone who wants to prevent an opioid overdose death can get a free Narcan rescue kit mailed to them. Get training and submit a request at LorainCountyHealth.com/opioids. Or, visit Lorain County Public Health (LCPH), 9880 Murray Ridge Road, Elyria, weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. to get Narcan training and pick up a Narcan rescue kit. Call 440-322-6367 to make an appointment after hours.
Opioid use in Lorain County has steadily increased by 53% from 2019 to 2020. LCOAT’s mission is to reduce overdoses and overdose deaths and to increase access to treatment and recovery support in Lorain County.
“Saving someone’s life with Narcan provides a chance for that person to seek recovery,” says David Covell, MPH, RS, health commissioner at LCPH. “Getting support from others helps a person with addiction seek and reach recovery.”
In 2020, LCPH distributed 932 Narcan rescue kits to Lorain County residents to prevent opioid overdoses. Reports show that those Narcan rescue kits saved 140 individuals from dying from an opioid overdose. These kits saved the life of someone’s daughter, mother, father, son or friend. In 2020, 138 loved ones lost their lives as a result of an accidental overdose.
“The effects of fatal accidental opioid overdoses could be tragic and far reaching,” said Mental Health, Addiction & Recovery Services (MHARS) Board of Lorain County Interim Executive Director Elaine Georgas. The Narcan kits were secured by funding obtained by the MHARS Board from the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services. “Everyone should be prepared to deal with an accidental overdose because someone at risk with an opioid use disorder may be closer to you than you think.”
In 2013, with the leadership of past Coroner Dr. Stephen Evans, Lorain County began a program that allowed responding police officers to administer naloxone on scene. Since then, the non-prescription distribution and use of naloxone by the community has allowed countless residents to be restored to life and given a second chance. The synthetic opioid overdose epidemic continues, and naloxone is a very valuable tool in reducing the number of fatalities and families affected.
Partners of LCOAT include: City of Elyria, City of Lorain, Cleveland Clinic, Communities That Care, El Centro, Elyria Police Department, Med Works, Firelands Counseling & Recovery Services of Lorain County, The LCADA Way, Let’s Get Real, LifeCare Ambulance EMS, Lorain County Children Services, Lorain County Community College, Lorain County Court of Common Pleas, Lorain County Drug Task Force, Lorain County Health & Dentistry, Lorain County Public Health, Lorain County Recovery Court, Lorain County Sheriff Office, Lorain Free Clinic, Lorain UMADAOP, Mercy Health, MHARS Board of Lorain County, Nord Center, Nord Family Foundation, OhioMHAS, The Road to Hope, Silver Maple Recovery, South Lorain County Ambulance, University Hospitals and Wellington Police Department.
For more information on how we make your health & safety our priorities, contact Lorain County Public Health at 440-322-6367 or visit LorainCountyHealth.com. Follow your local health department on Twitter @LorainCoHealth, Facebook, or YouTube.
The MHARS Board is the local behavioral health authority. Its mission is to improve the well-being of all members of our community by planning for, establishing and maintaining an effective, efficient, and quality system of mental health, addiction and recovery services for Lorain County. Learn more at mharslc.org.