WAYNE TOWNSHIP — Drug overdoses have increased since the beginning of the pandemic, according to the Indiana Department of Health.
The Marion County Health Department says 20 people overdose daily, with two to three cases resulting in death.
In June, the Wayne Township Fire Department started offering free Narcan, or Naloxone, which can help reverse the effects of an overdose.
"I did lose a brother to drugs. They sent him to finish his two months in jail and the day he came out, he ODed. So, I know what happens," Linda Johnson said.
Johnson was among the few people attending the overdose rescue training in Wayne Township Wednesday night.
"I have prayed for years that something would be available. That there would be a way that the general public can help people," Johnson said.
The free training showed participants how to administer the overdose rescue nasal spray and how to use the fentanyl strips.
"We are at a crisis, and we have been at a crisis. It is an epidemic and it's been going on for years," Charlotte Crabtree, Diversity & Outreach Manager for Overdose Lifeline, said.
Crabtree says numbers really spiked during the pandemic and never dropped.
"Nationwide, there are 300 people per day. That's a little less than one person every five minutes. They're dying here in the United States," Crabtree said.
So far, there are six boxes across Wayne township with Narcan and fentanyl strips.
Leaders say the goal is to make these kits widely available to save as many lives as possible in central Indiana.
"It's like a smoke alarm or a carbon monoxide detector. You need to continue to educate folks that they're important things to have. [It's importaqnt] to have Narcan in the glove compartment boxes," Jeb Bardon, Wayne Township Trustee, said.
Crabtree says people between 18 and 45 have the highest impact, but senior citizens are one of the forgotten groups. A heartbreaking reality for Ramona Cowan-Ward, who also attended the training.
"It's a scary thing for some of the seniors as it is for the younger people. I just feel that if it happens and I have it, I am blessed to be in that position," Ward said.
Wayne Township Trustees told WRTV's Amber Grigley it's going to take a lot of education to get more people to realize the importance of Narcan.
Wayne Township partnered with the Overdose Lifeline to distribute the life-saving drug.
To learn more about where to get it in your community, click here.