Counties begin passing out free opioid antidote kits to regular citizens

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Some central Indiana counties have been given kits to hand out to regular citizens in an effort to cut down on the opioid epidemic.

The kits, which include a dose of naloxone, an opioid antidote, and instructions on how to use it, are free after you attend a training and provide your information.

The Marion County Public Health Department has 600 kits, the first of which it passed out at IMPD's Southwest District headquarters on Thursday.

"We are in the community partnering with organizations to come into their office or agency and provide the training," Debra Buckner, with the Health Department, said.

Naloxone and NARCAN nasal spray have quickly become a hot commodity, used by first responders to revive people after an overdose on heroin or prescription pills. Last year, a new law made it legal for regular people to get and administer Narcan. You can get it by prescription, but that can be expensive.

Bill Nelson, a local judge, lost his son Bryan to an overdose seven years ago. He spoke to the group at IMPD, urging them to take the responsibility seriously.

"My wife just kicks herself every time, 'Why wasn’t this available for Bryan, why couldn’t I save Bryan’s life?'" Nelson said. "No family should have to suffer what we suffered and if there’s any chance to save a young life we’re all for that."

The training includes more than just the kits. Participants learn the importance of calling 911 and taking steps to get help for the patient, including resources for counseling and rehab programs.

"Saving a life, that’s the first step, that’s an important step but that’s certainly not the only step," Buckner said.

If you'd like to take a training and obtain a free kit, you can call the Marion County Health Department at (317) 221-4622.

IMPD's Southwest District will hold another training on November 29 at 1 p.m., you should call them to sign up.

Hamilton County's Health Department is also holding a training on November 8 at 6 p.m. More information is available here.

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