As two local Overdose Awareness Days observances approach, local health officials encourage residents to pick up free doses of a life-saving medication from no-questions-asked boxes and a vending machine.
Naloxone, perhaps more widely recognized by a brand name, Narcan, is used to rapidly reverse known or suspected opioid overdoses. No prescription is needed.
“Please carry Narcan, you never know when you can save a life,” said Christine Stinson, executive director of Wayne County Health Department. “Carrying Narcan should be like knowing CPR — it saves lives.”
Wayne County had 48 overdose deaths in 2022, compared to 65 in 2021, Stinson said.
So far in 2023, 28 deaths have been attributed to overdoses.
Loved ones and bystanders without formal training can give naloxone as a nasal spray as an attempt to restore normal breathing in someone whose breathing has slowed or stopped because of an overdose while first responders are being summoned. Multiple doses might be needed because some opioids are stronger than others, according to the National Institutes of Health.
Naloxone won’t reverse overdoses from other drugs such as methamphetamine or cocaine.
Two Overdose Awareness Day gatherings are planned Thursday, Aug. 31, to remember those lost to overdose, acknowledge grief of loved ones left behind and renew a commitment to end overdose.
Wayne County’s gathering takes place from 6-8 p.m. at First United Methodist Church, 318 National Road W., Richmond, organized by Recovery Rocks Club.
Connection Café is offering a program at 7 p.m. in Blue Arrows Park, 4397 E. Alquina Road, Connersville, preceded by a 6 p.m. cookout.
Where to find free naloxone
Free doses of naloxone to help reverse opioid overdoses are available anytime at outdoor boxes and a few indoor locations around Wayne and surrounding counties.
Richmond: Richmond Fire Stations Nos. 1, 2, 4 and 5 (101 S. Fifth, 930 Winding Ridge Drive, 801 S. L St. and 1971 W. Main St.); Centerstone, 100 N. 15th St. and 831 Dillon Drive; Neighborhood Health Center, 101 S. 10th St.; Wayne County Health Department, 100 S. Fifth St.; Earlham College’s Runyan Hall; inside Wayne County Jail (vending machine), 200 E. Main St., Richmond.
Hagerstown: Jefferson Township Trustee Office, 47 E. Main St.
Connersville: Faith Christian School, 2635 Iowa Ave.; Fayette County Medical Center, 2025 Virginia Ave.; Valley Place Apartments, 634 McCann St.; Fayette County Harm Reduction Alliance, 635 N. Central Ave.; Gray Haven Motel, 1200 W. Third St.
New Castle: FourSquare Church, 3200 S. 14th St.
Liberty: Union County Medical Center, 950 N. Market St.; River of Life Worship Center, 2929 U.S. 27 S.; Union County Health Department, 6 W. South St.
For a map with all of Indiana’s NaloxBox locations and naloxone distribution centers, visit www.overdoselifeline.org.
A version of this article appeared in the September 6 2023 print edition of the Western Wayne News.