State announces $400K grant to fight back against ongoing heroin epidemic

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – With dozens of heroin and opioid overdoses in central Indiana, the Indiana Attorney General’s Office wants to make sure all first responders around the state are carrying Naloxone.

Right now, first responders in 45 counties around the state are equipped with Naloxone which is not enough.

“We cannot just stand by and watch as people die, when we have the opportunity to use this antidote and give people an opportunity for recovery,” said Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller.

The Indiana Attorney General’s Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Task Force added an additional $400,000 grant to equip first responders with Naloxone. Naloxone is also known as Narcan and is a fast acting synthetic drug that can bring people back from drug overdoses.

“Naloxone is only one small piece of this unfortunate epidemic. We lose 129 people nationwide every day to the epidemic,” said Justin Phillips of Overdose Lifeline.

This is not the first time that the state has added funding to fight back against the overdose epidemic. Last January, a grant from the Attorney General’s Office paid for more than 7,000 Narcan kits. Those were given to IMPD, ISP, and other agencies in 45 Indiana counties. The kits helped save more than 1,300 people. Now, first responders still need more. Especially with the recent spike in overdose deaths after dealers are lacing heroin with other lethal drugs like Carfentanil, which is an elephant tranquilizer.

With the new funding that is coming from settlements from law suits with the Attorney General’s Office, the state can buy 7,000 more kits to equip first responders.

“They have now had to step into the role of public health; they are dealing with saving lives. They now serve, protect, and save,” said Attorney General Zoeller.