Gov. Holcomb announces $1.3 million donation to buy opioid overdose medication

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INDIANAPOLIS (WTWO/WAWV) — Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb and the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration announced Thursday that the state will provide $1.3 million worth of the opioid reversal agent naloxone, helping Hoosiers avoid accidental overdose deaths.

“Each dose of naloxone represents another life that could be saved and another opportunity to engage individuals with substance use disorder in treatment,” Holcomb said. “The effects of COVID-19 continue to linger, and now more than ever we must make treatments like naloxone readily available to any Hoosier who may encounter an individual experiencing an overdose.”

The state recorded a 33 percent increase in fatal overdoses last year, according to July data from the CDC.

Naloxone, or Narcan, is medication that prevents opioid overdose. The drug is administered when a person shows signs of opioid overdose and blocks toxic effects, often saving a patient’s life.

Overdose Lifeline, Inc., an Indiana nonprofit helping those affected by substance abuse, will now distribute 35,000 doses of the drug to first responders, families, friends and others who are likely to be the first on the scene if someone overdoses. The organization also intends to purchase and place 215 additional NaloxBox units across the state.

Funds were made available by the FSSA Division of Mental Health and Addiction’s state opioid response grant.

“The opportunity for grassroots distribution eliminates barriers to getting this life-saving medication into the hands of those who need it most,” Justin Phillips, founder of Overdose Lifeline, Inc., said. “Overdose Lifeline, Inc. is incredibly grateful to Gov. Holcomb for continuing to invest in the lives of Hoosiers with substance use disorder.”

First responders, families, caregivers and other people who would like to receive a supply of naloxone can register online at overdoselifeline.org. A list of resources around naloxone may be found at the Indiana Department of Health website at optin.in.gov.

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