Zoeller Visits JCSD
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
AG Zoeller recognizes Jackson County law enforcement for creation of naloxone program, efforts to save lives
Zoeller urges law enforcement across state to apply for naloxone grant funding
BROWNSTOWN, Ind. – Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller recognized the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department and the Seymour Police Department today for implementing naloxone programs and helping to prevent opioid overdose deaths in the area. Zoeller presented officers with honorary pins that they can wear on their uniforms to indicate they are trained to administer naloxone and save lives.
As creator and co-chair of the Indiana Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Task Force, Zoeller is urging all law enforcement entities to train and equip their officers with naloxone as a response to rising overdose deaths in the state. Naloxone, usually in the form of a nasal spray, works by counteracting the effects of an overdose of heroin or other opiate, and that in turn gives first responders additional time to get the unconscious patient to a hospital.
According to a 2015 Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) report, the number of heroin overdoses in Indiana more than doubled from 2011 to 2013. Three out of four new heroin users report having abused prescription opioids prior to using heroin.
“Law enforcement in Jackson County are playing a critical role in responding to this public health emergency, and their officers are trained and ready to prevent an overdose death and help link people to treatment,” Zoeller said. “Jackson County residents are fortunate to have this type of leadership in their community as Indiana battles the opioid abuse epidemic in our state that is taking more lives that car accidents.”
The Jackson County Sheriff’s Department and Seymour Police Department are among 55 law enforcement agencies across the state that have been trained and equipped with naloxone, including county sheriffs’ departments, municipal police departments and campus police departments. At least 165 lives have been saved by law enforcement administering naloxone in Indiana.
Sheriff Carothers stated: "All full time and reserve deputies have been trained in the use of naloxone. We hope to prevent deaths and offer a new window of opportunity for users to kick the habit".
Zoeller thanked the Jackson County law enforcement officers for their leadership and encouraged other law enforcement entities to follow their example.
Zoeller recently announced a new grant program to fund a surge in naloxone distribution, with the goal of ensuring all first responders are equipped with the life-saving treatment and trained to administer it.
Nonprofits registered with ISDH to distribute naloxone kits and provide training on the use of naloxone to law enforcement and other first responders can apply for grant funding from the Attorney General’s Office.
The new grant program is funded by a recent pharmaceutical settlement reached between the Attorney General’s Office and Amgen for deceptive drug promotion. The initial wave of available funding is set at $100,000.
To apply for a grant, eligible nonprofits must submit a plan to the Attorney General’s Office detailing which first responders in their service area are in need of naloxone, whether any jurisdictions in their service area are high risk, whether any jurisdictions have a demonstrated financial need to fund naloxone programs, and an estimated count of naloxone kits needed in the service area. The nonprofits must also detail their plan and timeline for training first responders on naloxone kits.
The individual award amounts will be determined based on the geographic service areas the nonprofit can reach, and the quantity of law enforcement agencies and first responders within that specific area per approved application.
A naloxone kit containing one dose costs approximately $75. The Attorney General’s Office anticipates the first wave of the grant program to fund the distribution of at least 1,000 naloxone kits to first responders. Zoeller said the program may be expanded depending on future need.
The Attorney General’s Office is accepting applications for the grants through Dec. 1, 2015. Grants will be awarded at the start of 2016. For more information about the grant program and how to apply, visit www.BitterPill.in.gov and click on “Harm Reduction – Naloxone Training for First Responders.”
More information on naloxone efforts can be found at www.BitterPill.IN.gov under “Harm Reduction.”
Public Information Officer – Consumer Affairs
Indiana Attorney General's Office
200 W. Washington St.
Indianapolis, IN 46204