INDIANAPOLIS -- For the past month, Naloxone, a drug overdose antidote, has been available to Hoosiers over-the-counter. Now one hospital is using a $5,000 grant to get it into people's hands.
Half dozen nurses from around Indiana attended a train the trainer event this week as part of Community Health Network's plans to increase access and awareness of naloxone. A state law signed last year makes the opioid overdose reversal drug available to the public.
Kim Sharp, the network’s director of pain management, said the Indiana State Department of Health has issued a standing order for anyone who wants to have the drug on hand to counteract a possible overdose.
"We can walk into any of our retail pharmacies and ask for an overdose kit, or ask for narcan or naloxone, whatever word you use," Sharp explained to the group of nurses. "They will know what you are talking about."
Six training sessions will be open to the public over the next few months at Community Health locations in Central Indiana, Kokomo and Anderson. People will learn about the signs and symptoms of an overdose. And they'll get free naloxone kits and directions for using them.
Community Health Clinical Pharmacist Brian Sedam says people purchasing the medicine at Indiana pharmacies have four options to choose from.
"There are two products that they can deliver via the nose, and there are two medications that are given into the muscle or intramuscular formulations," Sedam said.
Any pharmacist should be able to explain how to use naloxone.
In 2014, Indiana ranked 15th for the number of overdose deaths.