COLUMBUS — Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine sent a letter to members of law enforcement reminding them that rebates are available for law enforcement agencies that carry naloxone.
When given to a person overdosing on opioids such as heroin, fentanyl, carfentanil, or a prescription opioid, naloxone can limit or stop the overdose by reversing the effects of the opioid on the brain.
In March, Attorney General DeWine announced that he renewed an agreement with Amphastar Pharmaceuticals, Inc. to allow law enforcement, fire departments, emergency medical services, and others to receive a $6 rebate for each Amphastar naloxone syringe purchased until March 2017.
During the first year of the rebate agreement, 82 Ohio agencies were reimbursed a total of more than $209,000 to offset the cost of the life-saving drug.
“Heroin, fentanyl, and now carfentanil continue to take and risk the lives of many Ohioans every single day,” Attorney General DeWine said in his letter. “For those of you who are not yet carrying naloxone, I strongly encourage you to do so. Naloxone is another tool to help ensure the safety of your community members.”
According to a report released yesterday by the Ohio Department of Health, drug overdose deaths in Ohio increased from 2,531 in 2014 to 3,050 in 2015, including 1,155 fentanyl-related drug overdose deaths.
Attorney General DeWine recently warned law enforcement about the risks faced by officers who field test potent opioids like fentanyl. Alerts sent out by the Attorney General’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) in June and July warned that law enforcement should collect drug evidence with caution. Because drug absorption can occur through mucus membranes or broken skin, BCI recommended that any suspected heroin or fentanyl not be field tested as it could contain potent synthetic opioids such as carfentanil.
“These drugs are so dangerous to anyone who encounters them that we’ve recently increased safety precautions for BCI forensic scientists who test these drugs in our state crime labs, and we also have naloxone on hand in case the drugs are accidentally ingested,” said Attorney General DeWine.
For information on how to apply for the Amphastar rebates visit www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov/NaloxoneRebate.