COLUMBUS (WCMH) — With dozens of suspected overdose deaths in just one week, health officials around the county have stepped up their efforts to fight the epidemic.
The Franklin County Health Commission started giving away Narcan at several locations around Columbus.
Health Commissioner Dr. Mysheika Roberts said they have just finished up a week-long Narcan blitz, which allowed them to try and get this life-saving drug in the hands of as many people as possible to save as many lives as possible.
Stephen Snyder-Hill of Columbus said he has seen firsthand how this medicine works.
“I was jogging down the street, and somebody yelled that there was somebody passed out here over by the grass,” said Synder-Hill. “Immediately recognized it was an overdose.”
On this day, Snyder-Hill says he was without his Narcan kit. So, he called 911 and saw medics bring a man that was on his deathbed back to life.
It’s why Snyder-Hill said he now carries his Narcan kit wherever he goes.
“If I’m going anywhere at anytime, if it’s a big event or anything where I think there are going to be a lot of people from out of town,” he said. “I mean, I’ve had parties at my own house where you don’t know anything about anybody.”
Roberts says it’s why they do Narcan blitzes around the city — because you never know who may need it.
“We know the more people who have it, the more likely they are to use it on someone who overdoses,” said Roberts.
Roberts said that during the first two days of the blitz, they gave our more than 200 Narcan kits and trained everyone who received one.
“We know that Narcan saves lives,” she said.
Roberts said even though it is early, EMS workers have reported a small decrease in the number of overdoses and deaths since the blitz started.
She adds it’s just the beginning of the health commission’s efforts.
“We want people to carry Narcan and be able to revive someone who’s overdosing, just like people are trained in CPR,” said Roberts.
Columbus Public Health, Columbus Fire training academy, and Whitehall Fire Station, which is open 24 hours, are three places you can get Narcan for free.
Roberts added they are working on a plan to figure out a better way to get Narcan to more people.