July 19, 2014
COLUMBUS — Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced Tuesday that a new training course is now available for law enforcement officers regarding the administration of the drug naloxone. An educational video was also produced for the public.
Naloxone reverses the effects of opioids on the brain and can limit or stop an overdose when given to an individual overdosing on heroin or a prescription opioid.
“Law enforcement officers are often among the first to encounter an overdose victim, and naloxone is another tool that can be used to save those who are bordering on death,” said Attorney General DeWine. “Statistics gathered by my office show that an average of at least 17 people died each week in 2013 from a heroin overdose, and this free course gives officers the training they need to help them save lives.”
The free training course was developed by the Ohio Attorney General’s Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy (OPOTA) in response to House Bill 170, which was signed into law in March. The law allows officers to carry and administer naloxone, also known by the name Narcan.
The training course can be accessed by officers online through the Ohio Law Enforcement Gateway (OHLEG). It teaches risk factors for overdoses, signs and symptoms of an opioid overdose, and steps for administering naloxone.
House Bill 170 also gives friends, family members, or others who may be in the position to assist someone suffering from an opioid overdose the ability to administer naloxone as long as they receive the drug from a licensed health professional.
An educational video similar to the training course has been published as an informational and awareness tool for community members on the Ohio Attorney General’s website at http://www.ohioattorneygeneral.gov/Media/Videos/Naloxone-Educational-Video.
Subject matter experts from the Ohio State Board of Pharmacy, Lorain Police Department, Lorain County Coroner’s Office, and the Alcohol and Addiction Services Board of Lorain County assisted the Ohio Attorney General’s Office in developing the law enforcement training.
In addition to creating the law enforcement naloxone training course and educational video for the public, Attorney General DeWine also created a video focused on heroin abuse prevention. The video, entitled “Marin’s Story: The Battle Against Heroin”, features Marin Riggs, 20, who died of a heroin overdose in 2012. The video, which aims prevent others from following Marin’s path, has been viewed more than 58,000 times. It is available at http://www.ohioattorneygeneral.gov/Media/Videos/Marin-s-Story-The-Battle-Against-Heroin.
Attorney General DeWine also formed a Heroin Unit to combat heroin trafficking and prevent heroin abuse. The Attorney General’s Heroin Unit is composed of agents and investigators from the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation, prosecutors, and community outreach specialists.