September 1, 2014

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Lorain County to start year-long project to reduce amount of fatal drug overdoses

LORAIN – Lorain County Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services Board announced the long-awaited start of Project DAWN on Thursday – a year-long project to reduce the amount of fatal drug overdoses in Lorain County.

Project DAWN – an acronym for deaths avoided with Naloxone – officially will go into effect Oct. 12. Emergency responders will be able to administer Naloxone to opiate users suffering from overdoses. Naloxone is a synthetic narcotic that can reverse the effects of opiates, allowing emergency responders to bring an overdose victim back into consciousness.

Project DAWN largely affects Lorain County police departments, which will all be equipped with Naloxone kits for each officer. Officers will be able to administer a dose of Naloxone through a victim’s nose, bringing them to consciousness for 10 to 15 minutes.

However, Lorain County Coroner Dr. Stephen Evans warned, a victim suffering from an overdose still must be taken to the hospital despite appearing alert after Naloxone is administered.

Project DAWN is almost a year in the making, according to Evans who said that he and other anti-drug associations in LorainCounty pushed for over a year to have the act passed. It was passed on June 26 by the state legislature.

Before, police would respond to a call of an overdose and have to wait for paramedics to arrive. Project DAWN allows for a more immediate response.

Contact Anna Merriman at 329-7245 or amerriman@chroniclet.com. Follow her on Twitter at @AnnaLMerriman.