The maker of Narcan is making a research grant to Hamilton County that will provide nearly $2 million worth of the overdose antidote to combat the local heroin crisis.
Craig Davidson with Hamilton County Public Health says the goal is to reduce the number of opioid overdose deaths and near deaths by 50 percent.
"We look to put upwards of 25,000 to 30,000 doses into the community over the next two years," he says, "thereby expanding access for everyone that's at risk for an opiate overdose."
Davidson says the agency is seeking "to inundate the community with Narcan. All points of access are being considered." That includes first responder agencies and community-based organizations.
He says training on proper usage will also be provided.
Hamilton County Commissioner Denise Driehaus says the doses are part of a study to see how they affect the opioid crisis.
"The pharmaceutical company that produces Narcan, (Adapt Pharma), is giving this Narcan for free to Hamilton County. It's a national initiative. Hamilton County has been chosen as the pilot program. We are getting the Narcan for free and the evaluation will be done at UC to see what the impacts are."
Hamilton County Public Health will gather data including the number of fatal and near fatal overdoses, and how many doses of Narcan are used.
Davidson says the hope is the research study will produce results that can be replicated elsewhere in the country.
More details on the grant and the study are expected September 7.
Correction: Previous versions of this story said Narcan was being donated to Hamilton County. That is incorrect. The company is providing a research grant for the study. The drugs will be purchased with the grant money.