Overdose Antidote Not In Short Supply Locally

Aug 26, 2016

A dramatic rise in heroin overdoses has first responders scrambling to keep up, but hasn't dented the local supply of an antidote.
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Despite a spike in heroin overdoses in Hamilton County this week, local supply of an antidote is not in jeopardy. First responders still have access to naloxone, according to Cincinnati City Manager Harry Black. The Cincinnati Fire Department indicated it may need an additional $100,000 to purchase more naloxone. Black says that's not a problem for the budget.

"We're talking about saving lives. I mean, you can't put a price on that. We have a moral obligation to save lives if we can. You must always have a supply to, unfortunately, be prepared to handle the demand. We can never be in a position of running out," Black says.

Hamilton County Heroin Task Force Director and Newtown Police Chief Tom Synan says while most of the overdoses have been in the city of Cincinnati, the entire coalition is ready to help however it can.

"When you deal with what the city of Cincinnati dealt with, it is obviously taxing both on the city of Cincinnati (and) the coalition as a whole."

Synan says while the coalition helped get Narcan (brand name naloxone) to Cincinnati Police, the city's fire department has its own source.

Synan says the countywide naloxone supply is strong and the Task Force is ready for a rise in overdoses.

Another problem is figuring out what substances are being blended with heroin leading to the recent spike in overdoses.

"I think you gotta be realistic. We don't know what supply is out there. We don't know what they're putting in there. So I think we go into it at all times being prepared for spikes."

Both Synan and Black say police are still trying to track down the source of the heroin, which investigators believe was mixed with the animal tranquilizer Carfentanil.

Synan says, "What we need now is information and we are still asking the public for help. We are still asking them to give us tips. Any tip will be followed up on. We're asking them to call CrimeStoppers at 352-3040. Or they can call the Heroin Task Force at 946-4411."