January 7, 2016

Attorney General Putting 'Surge' of Opioid Antidote in Hard-Hit Communities

Attorney General Putting 'Surge' of Opioid Antidote in Hard-Hit Communities

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Indiana attorney general is putting a “surge” of heroin and opioid antidote into communities to combat a rising number of overdose deaths.

"We can’t stand idly by as more Hoosiers are lost to overdoses," Attorney General Greg Zoeller said at a statehouse press conference Thursday.

The attorney general's office has been trying to reduce the over prescribing of powerful painkillers which can lead to heroin addictions. They've gone after so-called pill mills and doctors who are chronically over-prescribing strong painkillers.

"I think they’re still training doctors to focus too much on the use of opioid as a pain relief when in fact I think the risks are starting outweigh some of the rewards," Zoeller said.

He calls these grants the “triage phase” of reducing the number of people fatally overdosing on opioids and heroin. "What I’m calling a surge in Naloxone distribution and training," he said.

The grants total $127,000, going to three nonprofits working in 16 of the hardest-hit counties, including Marion County and Scott County where an HIV outbreak last year began to shed light on the opioid addiction epidemic.

Money will be used to train and supply first responders on how to use naloxone, a drug that counteracts the effects of an opioid overdose. It’s been used more than a hundred times by police officers in Indianapolis to resurrect overdosers.

The money comes from settlements with pharmaceutical companies over deceptive marketing of drugs.

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