CLEVELAND -- Starting July 12, Naloxone kits will be available at the Cuyahoga County Board of Health, 5550 Venture Drive, in Parma, Ohio on Fridays from 9 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Currently, the program is held Fridays from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Free Medical Clinic of Greater Cleveland.
Project DAWN- Deaths Avoided With Naloxone is a community-based drug overdose prevention and education project that launched in March 2013.
Heroin users or their family members can receive a free kit that contains naloxone, an inhalant that can reverse opioid overdose.
When administered during an overdose, Naloxone blocks the effects of opioids on the brain and restores breathing within two to five minutes.
"The heroin epidemic is spreading rapidly into the suburbs and kits need to be available everywhere that heroin is being used," said Joan Papp, MD, Emergency Medicine Physician at The MetroHealth System.
When receiving a kit, participants receive training on:
- Recognizing the signs and symptoms of overdoes
- Distinguishing between different types of overdose
- Performing rescue breathing
- Calling emergency medical services
- Administering intranasal Naloxone
Naloxone has been used safely by emergency medical professionals and has no potential for abuse. If the medication is given to a person who is not experiencing an opioid overdose, it is harmless. If it is administered to a person who is dependent on opioids, it will produce withdrawal symptoms.