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New Plan Equips More First Responders With Opiod Antidote

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Attorney General Greg Zoeller says a new grant program to provide overdose intervention drugs to first responders will help save lives as Indiana braces for what he fears is a coming heroin crisis. 

Naloxone is a drug that immediately halts the effects of an opioid overdose, such as heroin.  55 of Indiana’s nearly 500 law enforcement agencies are trained and equipped with the drug. 

Attorney General Greg Zoeller says one of the barriers to getting more agencies equipped is the cost.  He says using a $1.3 million settlement with a drug company, the state will administer naloxone kits to agencies that need them.

Zoeller says the grant program will begin by using $100 thousand to gauge demand.  And while there’s no plan in place for long-term funding support, Zoeller says $1.3 million can jump start a response.

“I’m hoping that there won’t be people left behind that need it,” he says. “ And again, I’m not looking at this as a perpetual fund that I’m going to create some long…I mean, this is triage and if we need it all right now, we will.”

A typical naloxone kit with one dose of the drug costs around $75.00…but Zoeller says, by buying in bulk and using the power of his office to haggle out a better deal, he’s confident the state won’t have to pay that much.  

Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.
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