Attorney General Zoeller announces second grant for training, equipping first responders with Naloxone

INDIANAPOLIS The Indiana Attorney General’s Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Task Force will distribute an additional $400,000 grant to equip first responders with Naloxone, the fast-acting antidote for people who have overdosed on prescription opioids or heroin.

Last January, Zoeller awarded an initial grant to Overdose Lifeline, Inc., the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, and the Indiana State Police in response to the growing overdose epidemic throughout Indiana. The grant allowed the organizations to purchase nearly 7,500 kits. More than 5,000 kits have already been distributed to first responders to at least 45 counties statewide, and has resulted in at least 90 lives being saved since the program began.

“I’m proud of the men and women in law enforcement who have always been there to serve and protect us, but now take on this new role of saving lives as first responder during this opioid epidemic,” Attorney General Greg Zoeller said. “It’s up to all of us to find ways to become involved and seek solutions to this public health crisis that is devastating lives across Indiana.” 

The new grant will be administered by the nonprofit organization, Overdose Lifeline, Inc., a main provider of naloxone training and kits. Overdose Lifeline will expand efforts and prioritize counties that have not received initial kits and high risk counties. The Naloxone kits distributed are in the form of a nasal spray sold as Narcan, the brand name for naloxone, and work by reversing the effects of an overdose of heroin or other opiates.

“High-risk individuals are more vulnerable than ever to increasing numbers of overdoses on the new form of heroin laced with fentanyl. This synthetic drug has increased heroin’s potency by 30- to 50 times and now is the time to strengthen our state’s response to this epidemic.” Zoeller added.

Zoeller was joined by Justin Phillips the founder and president of Overdose Lifeline. She formed the nonprofit following the death of her 20-year-old son, Aaron, to a heroin overdose, three years ago this coming weekend.

“Overdose Lifeline’s primary goal is to have naloxone available for anyone to have in their hands and use it with those at risk of overdosing from opioids,” said Justin Phillips, founder/president of Overdose Lifeline. “If just one young life is saved by a first responder administering naloxone, then our efforts are worth it.”

In 2015, Aaron’s Law was passed, which allows for layperson access to Naloxone. For more information on Overdose Lifeline and resources available, please visit here.

The naloxone grant program is paid for with settlement funds received by the Office of The Indiana Attorney General for off-label and deceptive marketing by pharmaceutical companies. 

7th Annual Drug Abuse & Heroin Symposium

Attorney General Greg Zoeller, creator and co-chair of the Indiana Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Task Force, will host the 7th-annual Indiana Prescription Drug Abuse Symposium on Oct. 13-14. Space is still available and the public can register here.

This year’s symposium, titled “Rebuilding the Hoosier Heartland”, offers sessions on arming communities with strategies for curtailing abuse and providing treatment.