Correction: Overdose Antidote-Expanded Access story
CINCINNATI (AP) — In a story June 17 about naloxone and overdose deaths, The Associated Press misidentified an organization. It is BrightView Treatment Centers, not BritView Treatment Centers.
A corrected version of the story is below:
Overdose death toll declines in county hit hard by opioids
A hard-hit Ohio county that expanded availability of naloxone during the opioid epidemic has been seeing a decline in its overdose death toll
CINCINNATI (AP) — A hard-hit Ohio county that expanded availability of naloxone during the opioid epidemic has been seeing a decline in its overdose death toll.
Hamilton County’s program of increasing overdose antidote availability and quick response to requests for addiction treatment started last fall, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported . Public health officials increased distribution of the overdose-reversing Narcan nasal spray by 375 percent over a seven-month period.
The newspaper reports that Hamilton County coroner’s reports show a 34 percent drop in overdose deaths in the first five months of 2018 compared to the same period last year.
There’s been a 33 percent drop in medic runs for overdoses in the past six months compared to the previous six, and a 36 percent decrease in overdose visits to emergency rooms in that same period, according to Hamilton County Public Health surveillance data.
“We have plummeting mortality rates, increased treatment,” says BrightView Treatment Centers founder and Hamilton County Heroin Coalition member Dr. Shawn Ryan.
But while Ryan praised the program’s progress, he remains cautious about overstating any early results.
“We are just now getting things going in the right direction and we still have a long way to go to overcome this crisis,” said Ryan.
Hamilton County Health Commissioner Tim Ingram reflected a similar view, noting that it’s vital that everyone work together.
“I am cautiously optimistic that we are definitely headed in the right direction,” Ingram said.
The University of Cincinnati is following the Hamilton County project, but tracking and research on the program isn’t complete yet.
Government and health officials in the county that’s home to Cincinnati partnered for the massive effort. The county received donations from Adapt Pharma Inc., an Irish company whose U.S. base is in Radnor, Pennsylvania. Adapt Pharma would usually provide the two-dose Narcan spray kits at around $75 each.