December 21, 2014

Elyria
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Elyria police officers now carrying antidote for heroin overdoses

ELYRIA — Narcan, the brand name of the antidote for people overdosing on heroin and prescription pills, will be placed in every Elyria police cruiser and fire truck by the end of the month as city employees are being trained on how to administer the drug.

Bruce Shade, the city’s assistant safety service director, said Elyria safety forces will be part of a pilot program the state legislature approved and Gov. John Kasich signed into law. The program, which runs for one year and will be exclusive to Lorain County, is designed to test the effectiveness of having first responders administer the drug in hopes of reversing deadly overdoses.

Narcan is the brand name for naloxone, a synthetic narcotic that blocks the effects of opiates like heroin, on the nervous system. Narcan comes in a nasal spray and can be administered by officers who arrive first on the scene of drug overdoses.

Lorain County Coroner Stephen Evans, also a member of a group called LorainCountyDAWN — Deaths Avoided With Naloxone — is a big proponent of police officers and firefighters being equipped with the drug as the number of fatal overdoses in the city continues to climb.

Shade said officers and firefighters will begin training how to administer the drug and will be ready when it placed in cruisers by the end of the month.

Elyria will follow the training program established by the Lorain Police Department, Shade said.

Contact Lisa Roberson at 329-7121 or lroberson@chroniclet.com. Follow her on Twitter @LisaRobersonCT.