drug overdose

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Sarah Fentem

A new study shows some people are still afraid to call 911 when helping an overdose victim, despite an Indiana law that permits friends and bystanders to administer the overdose antidote naloxone.

More than a quarter of people surveyed by two researchers at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis said they didn’t call 911 at the scene of an overdose for fear of arrest.

ADAPT Pharma / narcan.com

The overdose reversal drug naloxone is in high demand across Indiana. But the state is now seeing more mixes of opioids causing overdoses. That’s leading first responders to go through their supplies more quickly.

Overdoses caused by multiple types of opioids require larger or repeated doses of naloxone.

Justin Phillips founded the group Overdose Lifeline and says first responders may have to administer as many as a dozen doses of naloxone to combat one overdose caused by a mix of drugs.

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

Lafayette Mayor Tony Roswarski has been among the chorus of voices saying his city can’t, as the saying goes, “arrest its way out of a drug problem.”

But now that the Indiana General Assembly has made Tippecanoe County a pilot site for a new opioid treatment program, will the mayor be more bullish on that as a solution than he has been on the idea of a needle exchange? We put that question to him this week on WBAA’s Ask The Mayor.

Frank Wegloski/Indiana Fire Trucks

Our guest on WBAA's Wake-Up Call is Tippecanoe Emergency Ambulance Service Director Darrell Clase.

We asked him for an update on the  trends local emergency responders are seeing in terms of drug overdose calls resulting from the ongoing drug abuse problem that's permeated the nation.

For starters, he says, to-date this year, the number of calls to treat patients who've overdosed on heroin has more than doubled from last year.

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Eugene Peretz/Flickr

A new study from the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at IUPUI in Indianapolis has found that restricting opioid prescriptions may have an unintended side effect: more overdose deaths involving heroin and fentanyl. The study also shows that Indiana’s reports don’t reflect the actual number of overdose deaths in which opioid drugs are present.

Elad Rahmin / https://www.flickr.com/photos/eladrahmin/

Deaths from drug overdoses have continued to increase in Indiana, mirroring national trends reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last week.

According to the CDC report, the national drug-related death rate has increased more than two and a half times since 1999.

In that same time period, state health department numbers show the number of drug overdose deaths in Indiana has gone up 570 percent. In 2015, 1,236 people died from drug-related OD's.

Governor Tom Wolf / https://www.flickr.com/photos/governortomwolf/

Attorney General Greg Zoeller Wednesday announced another round of grant funding to distribute the overdose intervention drug naloxone to first responders around the state. Zoeller says a more sustainable funding source is necessary.

Previous grants for naloxone provided kits of the drug to law enforcement and first responders in about 45 counties.  Zoeller says new funding – $400,000 – will expand that further, with the eventual goal of statewide supply.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention / www.cdc.gov

Indiana has received about $3.3 million from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to help reduce opioid overdose deaths.

The state says some of the money will be used to upgrade its drug monitoring program, which tracks prescription opioids dispensed across Indiana. The funding will also be used to evaluate and improve how doctors prescribe the drugs.

According to data from a few years ago, Indiana ranks 15th in the country for its overdose rate, and each year, doctors write more opioid prescriptions than there are people in the state.