NaloxBox program gives emergency access to life-saving drugs

Local News

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – A new NaloxBox program introduced by the Community Overdose Action Team will allow Montgomery County businesses to request a free, life-saving NaloxBox to be placed at their location, similar to automated external defibrillators.

The NaloxBox contains the overdose-reversing drug naloxone. It’s designed to be accessible for anyone to use in the event of a drug overdose.

The creator of the program attributes a lot of its success to the community.

“This was a decision made out of seeing how successful NaloxBox was and how well-received it was by the community,” said Claudia Rebola, Associate Professor at the University of Cincinnati.

Although the NaloxBox program is just getting started in Montgomery County, several businesses have already expressed interest in obtaining a kit, officials said at a press conference Thursday.

“We thought Sam was in long-term recovery at the time, and we were sadly mistaken,” said Greg McNeil, who founded the non-profit organization Cover2 Resources and attended Thursday’s announcement.

After McNeil lost his son Sam to an overdose in 2015, he started his organization to educate people about the drug crisis. He told 2 NEWS he has worked to get the word out about the NaloxBox program.

“It really takes a community to save lives,” Rebola said. “And we cannot really delegate or push the responsibility to…first responders.”

According to officials with COAT, the NaloxBox is like a defibrillator – it’s available in a public place for anyone who needs it.

Each kit costs $240, according to COAT, but they’re available for free to Montgomery County businesses.

Montgomery County Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services has received a $2 million federal grant that help provide funding for the program, in addition to state funds and local levy dollars that help pay for the NaloxBoxes, according to Jodi Long, associate director for Montgomery County ADAMHS.

According to Montgomery County Sheriff Rob Streck, data compiled by his office shows many overdoses have occurred at businesses.

“Businesses were highly affected with this problem,” he explained. “Why? Opiate addiction is such a strong addiction, the individuals would stop at the first location they could find to use the substance they had just purchased.”

Each kit comes with four doses of Narcan, a CPR mask and directions on what to do if someone may be having an overdose, said Barbara Marsh of Public Health – Dayton & Montgomery County.

County officials have ordered 30 kits so far and are looking to use some additional funding and donations to purchase more, Marsh added.

Businesses can make requests to receive a box by calling Casey Smith at Public Health of Dayton & Montgomery County at 937-225-6026.

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