October 23, 2014

Partly sunny

Elyria makes drug overdose antidote Narcan available to public

Joseph Supina, executive director of Sandusky Artisans Recovery Community Center, attended the Narcan Program at the Elyria Health Center on Thursday.  Supina wanted a kit in order to potentially help someone in need, in the event of an overdose, at the community center or on any of the retreats. KRISTIN BAUER | CHRONICLE

Joseph Supina, executive director of Sandusky Artisans Recovery Community Center, attended the Narcan Program at the Elyria Health Center on Thursday. Supina wanted a kit in order to potentially help someone in need, in the event of an overdose, at the community center or on any of the retreats. KRISTIN BAUER | CHRONICLE

ELYRIA — Joseph Supina said he knows some people believe distributing the drug overdose antidote Narcan enables addicts.

“Those that do have never had to hold the hand of a loved one at (an addict’s) funeral. I’m just tired of doing that,” said Supina, Sandusky Artisans Recovery Community Center executive director. “If I have the opportunity to save somebody from dying, I’m going to do that.”

Supina, 66, is a long-term recovering addict who said he last used drugs in 1974 and was one of several people receiving Narcan kits at the Elyria City Health District on Thursday. Narcan is the brand name for naloxone, a synthetic narcotic that blocks the effects of opiates, like heroin, on the nervous system. The nasal spray must be administered within minutes of an overdose to revive the victim.

The distribution came after a law took effect in March allowing the public to use Narcan. The law requires people to call 911 immediately before or after giving the antidote.

The law was in response to a national heroin and prescription pill epidemic. Fatal overdoses are the leading cause of accidental deaths in Ohio since 2007.


Narcan is the brand name for naloxone, a synthetic narcotic that blocks the effects of opiates, like heroin, on the nervous system.

Lorain County had a record 67 fatal overdoes last year. The deaths topped the 2012 record of 60, compared with 22 each in 2011 and 2010

Local officials like Lorain County Coroner Stephen Evans, Lorain Police Chief Cel Rivera and state Sen. Gayle Manning, R-North Ridgeville, lobbied for the law. In 2013, the Legislature approved a pilot program in the county allowing firefighters and police officers to carry Narcan. Between October, when the program began, and the end of February, police in the county used Narcan 30 times and revived 28 people, according to Evans.

The kits, worth about $30, were provided by University Hospitals Elyria Medical Center, according to Dr. Douglas McDonald, medical director of the Elyria and Lorain County health districts. After watching a 17-minute video about overdoses, including how to resuscitate victims through “rescue breathing” and how to administer Narcan, participants met with McDonald.

McDonald said seven people have received kits from the district since the law passed including parents and grandparents of addicts. McDonald said he has stressed the need to call 911 before or immediately after using Narcan to get paramedics to respond. “You don’t want to take the chance of reviving someone and thinking that’s all you need, and then they get worse again,” he said.

While turnout was light Thursday, McDonald said he expects more people will come to future distributions given the depth of the epidemic. “It’s really been a matter of just getting the word out,” he said.

Kathy Boylan, Elyria Health District director and acting Lorain Health District director, said she supports the new law. However, Boylan said government needs to be more proactive by providing support to poor single mothers and youth at risk of addiction even if it means spending more money. Boylan compared Narcan distribution to saving people who have fallen out of canoes from drowning, but not steering canoeists away from dangerous rapids.

“We need to be out there supporting those people,” she said. “How can we get back and help those kids?”

Contact Evan Goodenow at 329-7129 or egoodenow@chroniclet.com.

Heroin Antidote

Free kits containing Narcan, a nasal spray that can revive a person who has taken a heroin overdose, will be distributed 5 to 7:30 p.m. June 12 at the Elyria City Health District, 202 Chestnut St., Elyria. For more information, contact Kathy Boylan, Elyria Health District director, at (440) 284-1551 or kboylan@elyriahealth.com.

  • stop ur whining part deux

    I would prefer to let junkies remove themselves from society. If you are dumb enough to shoot that junk into then you have no place in the real world. Heroin is nothing more than population control. Keep shooting up junkies, you are making the world a better place one O.D. at a time.

    • William Mitchell

      ↑ Wow, sounds like you never lost someone close to you, hope it never happens and then you realize that your words above don’t sound very smart.

      • stop ur whining part deux

        Actually i have suffered tremendous personal loss due to alcohol. I had someone close to me make the worst decision possible and wound up paying the ultimate price.

        But that does not excuse them, nor anyone from personal responsibility.

        Heroin is nothing new. From a young age we are educated the pitfalls that accompany all drugs. We know that heroin is exceedingly addictive, easy to over dose on, and extremely dangerous.

        You deserve 100% what you get if you mess around with that junk. You know what it is going to do to you before the needle touches your arm. There is nothing ignorant about my post.

        Keep it up junkies and thank you for helping weed out the morons.

        • helen

          Ur a jerk better hope you never have to have anyone ever save your life

          • stop ur whining part deux

            Your opinion of me is irrelevant and do not worry about me. I have plenty of people that love and support me and would be there in a minute if needed.

            But you would never find me in a situation like the addiction that is heroin. I am not a moron.

            That being said have i stated anything that is not factual regarding heroin?

            Is it poison?
            Is it highly addictive?
            Is it easy to overdose on?
            Does it kill?


            Face it, if you shoot up you are a weak willed moron.

        • jz

          So you’re the excuser. Pardon me.

          • stop ur whining part deux

            excuser, no, i am a realist and insist that I, you, and everyone else take responsibility for their actions. I am providing excuses for no one, my dead relatives included.
            I believe I have been clear about that.

            If you put that junk in your body you are immediately included into the the dumbest people on earth club. Heroin is for weak willed fools that make the choice to ignore the volumes of information we have on heroin. You make dumb choices, you must live with the consequences and with heroin that usually means death.

          • Razorback Twou

            An addict is s sick person and will power has nothing to do with the illness. Look it up, the AMA has classified the illness of addiction as so, same as diabetes is a illness. Would you not treat diabetes because someone you knew died from it? Don’t let your hatred cloud your judgement. .

          • stop ur whining part deux

            ….and before they made the choice to shoot the junk into their arm they showed a tremondous lack of will power. The downside of Heroin is well documented.

            Secondly to compare diabetics to heroin addiction is repugnant. You make the choice to become an addict, you do not have a choice in being a diabetic.

          • Razorback Twou

            Until you educate yourself, your posts have no meaning behind them except hatred. Now I have a life to get on with,bye..

          • stop ur whining part deux

            hahahaha. yea i am the one in need of ad education. Never mind that you have no intelligent retort to offer.

            Ignorance is bliss so your world must be the happiest on earth.

          • Debbie Hall Guddy

            sure many people choose to become diabetic specifically type2..they choose to overeat and eat unhealthy foods and many continue to do so even after diagnosis due to denial same as a drug addiction

          • Joe Smith

            You don’t “catch” Heroin addiction and I don’t care what the AMA says, they also say overeating and being fat is a illness when it is the individual who crams the food down their throat. Exceptions to the mentally handicapped who may end up this way but to anybody else it is a choice.

          • justme97

            Someone does not “choose” to have cancer, diabetes or Alzheimer’s, these are illnesses, choosing to take a drug or a drink is just that a “choice”. I am sure there many people on here who have fought or are fighting these horrible diseases who never picked up a drug and to have addiction compared to their battle is just a huge slap in the face. They are fighting to live while these addicts are fighting to die,,,

          • jz

            I do not totally disagree with you, however, I grew up with some of the smartest, [intellectually], and kind hearted people you could know and except for one, they pulled themselves out of heroin and opiate addiction in the 80′s. They live life to the fullest now. Of course heroin is terrible, and they made a “dumb” decision, but, to me you seem too cold hearted in the name of calling yourself a “realist”. There is a thing called sympathy where it is not deserved, and then their is empathy and understanding of the human condition which takes wisdom and a warm heart. It’s easy to be a realist per your description, it is sometimes harder to be a realist with empathy, caring and understanding. There are a lot of different manifestations of weak willed fools, and many of them throw the most stones.

          • Oneday67

            You are funny! That was great dude

          • jz

            Not meant to be funny but if you got a laugh out of it all the better.

          • Brian_Reinhardt

            An addiction begins with CHOICES. Many of them illegal and all of them bad. Why do some of you not have the sense to realize that fact.

            They’re also beginning to make the claim pedophilia is a disease.

            Will you show the same compassion for them?

            Didn’t think so…

          • jz

            No sympathy for an addict, especially if they steal to get the money to support their addiction. Compassion? No point in the pedophilia comparison. I think the “disease” point is a model some use in so far as like any disease, it can progress. It does not abdicate one from the fact that yes they made a bad choice to begin with.

          • Brian_Reinhardt

            Wait…no point in the comparison?
            You don’t get it both ways…compassion for the druggies but none for the pedo. They both claim “disease”.

            Is one disease more worthy of compassion and as one of you put it “love”???

            Let a drug crazed whackjob destroy your life and see how much compassion you have for them then.

            I bet a dollar you don’t blame disease for the destruction…

          • jz

            You totally missed my point. I never said an addict doesn’t own responsibility for their predictament and never implied that ‘disease” is any kind of an excuse. How anyone can read my above post and interpret it the way you do is beyond me.

      • Patty Siniard Doman

        I agree ,addiction is a a disease ,the above comment lacks compassion and love .

    • bdid.d

      Survival of the fittest…

    • Patty Siniard Doman

      Hateful ignorant comment .

  • golfingirl

    Send out the Narcan.

    Stake out the houses that receive it.

    Arrest the addicts!

    Now they can simply reverse the effects of the heroin at home, not have to go to a hospital and be identified, and turn around and do it all over again.

    • Joe Smith

      That would put the Narc in Narcan

  • John Davidson

    Will they wear it around their neck in a small vial so that anyone will give it to them. There can be bad effects when a person is revived and some good samaritan is going to get hurt.

    • Joe Smith

      Im sure they will hand out heroin med alert wrist bands with them

  • footballer

    hey golfingirl. Ever go golfing naked?

  • Christine Camarillo-Winrod

    Good for Elyria Health Department and University Hospitals. This epidemic is awful.

  • Brittney G

    This is a wonderful idea it can help people because you are never going to be able to stop people from using but you can help save lives and maybe after someone comes so close to death it will be their wake up call to change and get a second chance. Now the next step is to make getting needles more easily so then we can help prevent disease that is spreading like wildfire. Like I said no one will ever stop people from using drugs but we can make it safer for people. That’s why the needle exchange in Cleveland is such a good idea and why we need one in Lorain county too. Help the fight against AIDS and hepatitis c!

  • Patty Siniard Doman

    This will save lives .

  • Arietta Sullivan

    it’s a good thing that this revives them from death but is this going to stop them from using heroin again? it’s,usually,the pill addicts that turns to heroin. the only way pills get on the streets as heavy as they do is by the ‘legal drug dealers’…doctors,not saying all doctors either.these are the spots where drug tasks forces should start investigating the problems they have on the streets. &the only thing i have to say is i’m a realist too&if you know there’s a chance that a drug like this&other drugs is going to turn you into an addict&down the wrong road of self destruction then why dance with the devil?..i heard what these harsh drugs can do to people as far back as junior high..i never got curious to know what it felt like to be on the edge of death. and yes i did lose my best friend,my only friend of 25 years,to a pill OD,it was a slow death&it lead her to heroin. i refuse to be around people now that i know is an addict cause i will not stand back&watch it cause that is all you can do.i wouldn’t supply my best friend of her drugs,i wouldn’t let her manipulate me with her lies,etc..i walked away before i ever saw myself helping&watching someone else kill themselves,13 months later,she was dead. the best thing i felt i could do was to walk away.it was destroying everything about the goodness i knew of this woman&I didn’t want to lose those beautiful memories,over pills&heroin. R.I.P. TAMMY..I LOVE YOU

  • JHL27

    A dirty sock fits in their mouth, prevents them from foaming at the mouth when they die.
    It is not like they started doing Heroin yesterday, we should stop this by executing the dealers, swift and without prejudice. This is like draining a lake to save the dam, effective and permanent.

    • Lewis LaCook

      So we should kill all the doctors who handed Oxy out like jujubes?

      • JHL27

        No, send them to clean up those Ebola messes.