Even with the rise in opioid overdoses over the past several weeks, supplies of the overdose reversal medication, known as naloxone, are not depleted within Monroe County. In fact, there is a push to make the medicine more accessible.
As of July 1, the Indiana State Department of Health released a mandate making it easier for naloxone to be readily available not only for emergency responders, but also for the public. Prescriptions are not needed for the medicine, which can be found at local pharmacies.
County officials are also considering the idea of having the medication on hand in county government buildings, treating it similarly to an automated external defibrillator, or AED. County commissioners have asked Monroe County Health Department Administrator Penny Caudill to review the proposal and present a report on her findings with recommendations.
“The county as a whole needs to think about the availability they want for it,” Caudill said Friday. “I think, at a minimum, there needs to be system in place, looking at where and what staff are most likely to encounter people who overdose.”
Public safety officers
The Bloomington Police Department, Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, Indiana State Police and Bloomington Fire Department all have naloxone on hand for when a member of the public shows signs of an opioid overdose.
Reporter Abby Tonsing contributed to this report.