City of Green Drug Task Force Installs NARCAN Emergency Kits in Local Hotels
May 28, 2019, Green, OH -- This week, several hotels in Green, Ohio will be equipped with Emergency NARCAN Kits to reverse an opioid overdose. The kits, similar to AED or First Aid kits located in public places, will be installed behind the front desk for hotel staff to access if a guest or visitor to the facility overdoses on drugs. These kits are the first in the State of Ohio to be installed. The program is supported by the Green Drug Task Force and paid for by the Summit County Health Department, which also provides free NARCAN to individuals or family members of those most at risk.
“The City of Green has a much lower overdose rate than the county average, but we are not immune to the impacts of addiction, most notably in our I-77 transportation corridor,” said Mayor Gerard Neugebauer. “Our Drug Task Force is dedicated to helping families through education and prevention and our Fire Division is helping through outreach programs such as our Quick Response Team and building this Community of First Responders. It’s making a difference.”
The Green Fire Division tracks the number of NARCAN uses each year. From 2014 through 2016, the numbers increased steadily with 27 in 2014, 42 to 2015 and 83 in 2016. It was in 2016 that the Green Drug Task Force formed. And in January 2017 the Green Outreach Team, our Quick Response Team, began visiting victims within a week of their overdose to offer assistance. Since then, the numbers have declined to 60 uses of NARCAN by Green Fire in 2017, 40 in 2018, and eight year-to-date in 2019. From this historic data, approximately 20-25% were located near hotels or other businesses in close proximity to the I-77 exits. While the overall overdose numbers are declining, the percentage of overdoses occurring at locations with easy access to I-77 is disproportionately high.
“Most of our local hotels have embraced the addition of this life-saving kit,” said Jeremy Chambers, fire medic and member of the Green Outreach Team, which visits victims of overdose or drug abuse within a week after an emergency to offer assistance and recover help. “Unfortuantely, our hotels and public places along the I-77 corridor are areas that we have a higher rate of drug activity and overdoses. Giving hotel staff NARCAN kits can help save a life, just like AEDS help heart attack victims, prior to EMS arriving.”
The idea to install emergency NARCAN kits in hotels in the City of Green started with Greg McNeil, founder of Cover2, a not-for-profit serving the greater Cleveland/Akron area that was created following the loss of son, Sam, to a heroin overdose in October 2015.
“Green has embraced the need for education and services to combat the opioid epidemic,” said McNeil. “Because of the Drug Task Force’s work in the community and the relationships they have built, it was the ideal location to launch the installations of these NARCAN emergency kits as we continue to work on building a network of first responders – which includes anyone willing to step in and save a life.”
The Narcan Emergency Kits are approximate $250 each plus the cost of the NARCAN, which is paid for through a grant from the Summit County Health Department. Following the installation, hotel staff will be trained on how to administer NARCAN.
Hotels or businesses in the City of Green interested in learning more may call Firemedic Jeremy Chambers at 330-896-6610. Those outside the City of Green are invited to call Greg McNeil at 877-901-3277.
Green Drug Task Force
The Green Drug Task Force, formed in 2016, is an all-volunteer group of concerned citizens focused on rising awareness of addictive disorder. The Task Force hosts several educational and prevention programs throughout the year. To learn more, visit www.cityofgreen.org/drug-task-force
The City of Green, Ohio
The City of Green, Ohio, founded in 1992, is a prosperous, progressive and promising city with more than 26,000 residents. Approximately 33.5 square-miles, Green is located in southern Summit County. Visit. Like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/cityofgreenohio
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