INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.-- Hoosiers now have a new tool to help fight the opioid epidemic in Indiana. State officials unveiled a Naloxone administration heat map Thursday.
The map tracks where EMS providers use Naloxone to help reverse the effects of opioids in someone suspected of overdosing. First responders must submit patient care data to the Indiana Department of Homeland Security within 24 hours.
"That's gonna put real time data in the hands of not only our public safety health personnel like EMS providers but public safety personnel our police and local community outreach efforts focused on opioid prevention and opioid treatment efforts," Dr. Michael Kauffman, the EMS medical director for IDHS, said.
Using the map, a viewer can see the approximate location, but not specific address, where naloxone was used by EMS personnel by location and time frame.
"I think all additional information that can be brought to bear is helpful," Indianapolis EMS chief of operations Michael Hayward said.
IEMS has its own heat map it uses. Hayward said responding to overdoses has become commonplace, but the past few months have seen a slight decrease. It reports 199 patients receiving naloxone in May, 152 in June, 135 in July and 105 so far in August.
"The problem is we've also seen the institution of naloxone being given out at pharmacies to lay persons so even though we see a decline in the use by our crews we can't really say that, we can't really say that that equates to fewer overdoses," Hayward said.
The state reports there were 757 opioid deaths in 2017. In 2012 there were less than 400.