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Call 6: The antidote to turning heroin's tide

Posted at 11:35 PM, Mar 11, 2016

INDIANAPOLIS -- Heroin is ravaging cities across the country, but in Indianapolis, more than 1,200 Hoosiers' lives have been saved thanks to its antidote: Narcan.

On Thursday alone, the drug – naloxone, sold under the brand name Narcan – saved two people's lives. In 2015, an all-time record of 1,227 doses were administered in Marion County alone. More than 240 people had already received Narcan this year.

SPECIAL SECTION: Heroin in the Heartland

It takes just 3-5 minutes for the drug to kick in. Its effect: Reversing an opioid overdose.

All police officers, firefighters and first responders now carry the drug in Marion County. But, they say, even though they can give someone another chance at life, it doesn't mean they won't overdose again.

"While it does not cure or prevent addiction, it does give the individual the opportunity to seek treatment and help for their addiction," said Carl Rochelle, of Indianapolis Emergency Medical Services.

MORE HEROIN COVERAGE | Franklin PD arrests 21 in heroin ring | Sheriff issues stern warning, plea for help after heroin death Editorial: Heroin is a disease, not a choice | How to spot a heroin user Mom turns heroin heartache into mission | City launches program to end heroin use, disease'Don't sugarcoat this,' mom says of heroin death Hamilton Co.: Wealthy, educated, dying of heroin | Heroin overdoses skyrocket in Shelbyville | Howard County sees spike in heroin overdoses | Fishers police fighting growing heroin problem | Anderson PD targets 24 suspects in heroin bust | Heroin may be the most addictive drug | Heroin, designer drugs remain popular in school

And although addiction rates and Narcan use are both going up, the drug is giving more people a second chance, Rochelle said.

"We still have work to do in making people aware of the dangers of opioid addiction and opioid use," Rochelle said. This is not something that can be experimented with."

SPECIAL REPORT | Heroin's grip on Indiana

Indianapolis now has the life-saving drug in every ambulance, police car and fire truck – always ready for use.

Click on the map below to explore data on drug overdose deaths across Indiana:


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