Indiana health commissioner extends naloxone availibility

INDIANAPOLIS (WANE) Indiana State Health Commissioner Jerome M. Adams announced Friday he has renewed a statewide standing order making naloxone easily available to those who need it.

Naloxone is a drug that can reverse opioid overdoses. Data provided by the Indiana State Department of Health indicates 1,271 people died from drug poisoning in Indiana in 2016 with nearly 8,300 people treated at emergency rooms for non-fatal opioid overdoses.

Anyone needing naloxone can visit www.optIN.in.gov to find places where they can get the drug without first getting a prescription from their own doctor.

Nearly 500 locations, including pharmacies, nonprofits and local health departments, are listed on the site.

According to a news release from the Indiana State Department of Health, in order to use either the standing order signed by Dr. Adams or an order from another licensed prescriber, entities registered at http://www.optIN.in.gov must maintain a current registration on the site, provide education and training on drug overdose response, treatment and administration of the drug, and instruct those who administer naloxone to call 911. Registered naloxone entities must also report the dates and number of doses distributed to the state annually. Training and other resources for prescribers, naloxone entities and those who may administer the medication are available on the site.

In Allen County, the renewal of the standing order was met with approval.

“It’s so important for family and friends of loved ones with substance use disorder or on long term opioids for pain to have access to this life-saving medication without having to worry about overcoming barriers,” said Allen County Health Commissioner Dr. Deborah McMahan, “It’s important for them to have easy access to this and be trained on how to administer it. After all, it saves lives!”

In April, the Fort Wayne-Allen County Department of Health launched the Naloxone Education, Access, and Training Clinic, also known as the “NEAT Clinic” at the Medical Annex. The NEAT Clinic is by appointment only and offers overdose education, hands-on naloxone training, and a naloxone prescription for family or friends of those with substance use disorder or on long term opioids for pain. To schedule an appointment, call (260) 449-7504.