Free Narcan available 24-hours-a-day at outside Naloxone Station

Feb 13, 2024 | Around Ottawa County | 0 comments

The Naloxone Station’s placement outside the Ottawa County Health Department allows anonymous, 24-hour access to the medication. (Photo by Sheri Trusty)

BY SHERI TRUSTY

Anyone can access free Narcan at this Naloxone Station outside the Ottawa County Health Department. (Photo by Sheri Trusty)

The Ottawa County Health Department is committed to proactively protecting local residents from the deadly impact of the opioid epidemic. From informational seminars to public awareness events, the department has worked to create a protective hedge around the community. Now, the health department has found a new way to fight overdose deaths by offering free, easy access to Narcan, a nasal spray that can be used to revive a person during an overdose.

On Feb. 5, the Ottawa County Health Department installed a Naloxone (Narcan) Station outside its building. The station allows anyone to access Narcan 24-hours-a-day, 365 days a year. There is no cost for the medication.

“Some communities offer Narcan through a vending machine, but the cost sometimes restricts access,” said Health Educator Michelle Veliz. “We wanted to put it in a neutral location where people can always access it.”

Although the health department already offered free Narcan, staff was worried that some people who need it would be uncomfortable entering a public building to ask for it.

“Here, it’s very anonymous. Sometimes people are struggling and are not ready to have a conversation about it,” Veliz said. “At least they’ll have the medication on hand.”

Narcan isn’t just for people in addiction. It can save the life of someone who was mistakenly exposed to an opioid. (Photo by Sheri Trusty)

There is a misconception about Narcan that prevents people from understanding the widespread need for it.

“Narcan is not just for people in addiction,” Veliz said. “A lot of times, we get reports of an elderly person accidentally taking too much of an opioid. Sometimes, a child accidentally takes a pill, and sometimes people don’t know what their drugs are laced with.”

Veliz said that keeping Narcan in a home or business should be as commonplace and acceptable as having other lifesaving resources available. They may never be needed, or they may save a life.

“Having Narcan is like having an AED unit or knowing CPR. If you have Narcan and someone is exposed to an opioid, you have lifesaving medication in your house,” she said. “If someone is overdosing, you have exactly what you need.”

The Naloxone Station was funded by a Project DAWN grant from the Ohio Department of Health. It is located outside the Ottawa County Health Department at 1856 E. Perry St. in Port Clinton.

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