PREBLE COUNTY — A partnership among the RecoveryOhio initiative, the Ohio Department of Transportation and the Ohio Department of Health’s Project DAWN (Deaths Avoided With Naloxone) will install lifesaving Naloxone kits at rest areas across the state — including the Traveler Information Center on Interstate 70 East in Preble County.
“Increasing access to Naloxone is critical to combating the opioid crisis and decreasing the number of overdose deaths in Ohio,” said Governor DeWine in announcing the program last week. “By placing Naloxboxes in rest areas across the state we are providing more opportunities to reverse the deadly effects of illicit opioids and providing opportunities for Ohioans to choose recovery.”
Naloxone, also known as Narcan, is a nasal spray that can be provided to someone suffering from an opioid overdose, blocking the deadly effects of opioids on the brain and restoring consciousness and breathing. It is harmless if it is given to a person not experiencing an opioid overdose. More than 130 boxes with naloxone are being installed at 65 rest areas across the state.
Last year, unintentional drug overdoses in Ohio resulted in 4,915 deaths, according to the Ohio Department of Health. That is nearly four times greater than the 1,275 fatalities caused by motor vehicle crashes over the same period.
In 2014, Project DAWN distributed 2,894 naloxone kits, which resulted in 190 known overdose reversals. In 2022, the number of kits distributed had grown to 205,584 and the known overdose reversals to 18,244.
The common signs and symptoms of an opioid overdose include unresponsiveness, slow or no breathing, blue lips or fingernails, choking or coughing, cold or clammy skin, small pupils, and dizziness or disorientation.
September is National Recovery Month, and was proclaimed Recovery Month in Preble County by commissioners and the Preble County Mental Health and Recovery Board earlier this month. Several events have been held to recognize the month with special programs, activities, and ceremonies supporting this year’s theme, “Recovery is for Everyone: Every Person, Every Family, Every Community.”
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4061 and follow on X @emowenjr.