While drug-related deaths continue to rise throughout Indiana, one county saw a decrease in drug fatalities in 2017.

Naloxone is an antidote that can help reverse drug overdoses.
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Residents in Licking County can get online training about using naloxone and receive the opioid overdose reversal drug by mail through a new program billed as the first of its kind in the Ohio.

Akron’s Quick Response Team has become the first in Summit County to offer residents naloxone kits and training on how to use them to counter the effects of an opioid overdose.

Joseph Natko, the district chief of the Akron Fire Department, says the effort is part of a follow-up strategy with people who recently overdosed.

With the country in the throes of an epidemic, communities across the nation are being forced to confront the harrowing, and often fatal, effects of opioid abuse. But solutions — such as creating intervention programs in Ohio, providing access to treatment in Alabama, or investing in prevention initiatives in Missouri — cost money.

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In June, Middletown, Ohio, council member Dan Picard suggested that every time an ambulance responds to a drug overdose, the receiving patient be required to pay for the cost by performing community service. If that person experiences more than two overdoses but have not completed their community service, the 911 dispatcher will not send an ambulance.

Esther Honig

Like many fire stations across Columbus, Station 18 in the Linden neighborhood has seen an uptick in the number of overdose runs.

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City leaders in Middletown on Wednesday night said attorneys are still weighing whether they can legally decide not to revive people who repeatedly overdose.

At the Middletown, Ohio, fire department, calls for actual fires are rare. These days the station responds to more calls for drug overdoses — four to five a day on average.

Firefighter Bryan Oliver goes on a lot of these runs. Oliver and his team administer Naloxone and then perform CPR. He says they may treat the same patient for multiple overdoses, sometimes in the same day.

"Anybody you talk to who does this job will tell you it's frustrating and you put that to the side because you have a job to do," he says.

Teresa Long (left), Columbus Health Commissioner, at the Columbus Metropolitan Club forum on opioid abuse.
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Some of the biggest players in the fight against Ohio’s opioid abuse told business leaders that the epidemic might be closer than they think and warned them to be prepared.

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First responders say a total of 12 people in local halfway houses and jails had to be treated for suspected drug overdoses between Sunday afternoon and Monday morning.