Opioid abuse: treatment at a high price


By LOUISE SWARTZWALDER - lswartzwalder@aimmediamidwest.com



CLEAR FORK VALLEY — The recent advisory by the nation’s surgeon general about fighting the opioid epidemic nationwide is getting reactions from some people in this area.

The state of Ohio ranks one of the highest in death rates from opioid overdoses. This is according to information put out by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The states of New Hampshire and West Virginia share the honor of having high death rates with Ohio.

Bellville police chief Ron Willey said his officers are trained by the Richland County Health Department on how to use naloxone. This is an antidote that can be administered to a person who appears to be suffering from an overdose.

U. S. Surgeon general Jerome Adams last week said naloxone should be available to more people. He did this in an advisory, which he said was the first in 13 years.

Instances of opioid abuse have been noted by people all over the country. Some officials in certain areas have complained that they have to send victims to another county because places where autopsies can be done are full.

The use of naloxone comes with a high price. The cost per dose can be $80 to $100, said Willey.

He said if his department had to pay for it, he is not sure what it would do. They get funding through Project Dawn, associated with the Richland County Health Department.

Administering the antidote requires familiarity with the substance.

Willey said his officers are trained, but he doesn’t know what the average individual is supposed to do. He said he doesn’t think there is a training component for citizens unless it is an “online type” training.

Naloxone has been proven to save lives, Willey said. Eppy pens do, too, he said. But you can’t get any of these things for free.

Eppy pens are for administering epinephrine, which is used for people suffering from anaphylaxis.

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By LOUISE SWARTZWALDER

lswartzwalder@aimmediamidwest.com

Reach Swartzwalder at lswartzwalder@aimmediamidwest.com

Reach Swartzwalder at lswartzwalder@aimmediamidwest.com