Ben-Licking Naloxone sign.jpgNEWARK, OHIO —
Health officials in Licking County said they can't fight the heroin epidemic alone so they are trying to get everyone to carry Naloxone, the heroin antidote.
The county health department put up billboards encouraging people to carry it even if they don't know anyone struggling with heroin addiction.
"Most people don't know where to go or what to do," said Karey Dyer whose daughter struggles with addiction. "They don't know what the resources are."
Dyer said there's still a stigma about heroin addiction. She hoped billboards like that will start to change that.
"That billboard is the Health Department saying, 'it's okay if we have a conversation about this' and people need to know that," she said. "People need to be willing to talk and maybe change their mind."
The Licking County Health Department has 300 Naloxone kits to give away for free. They also offer free training on how to use it.
"Some of our own staff have pulled into a strip mall and seen somebody slumped over a wheel and knew they were in trouble," said Mary Beth Hagstad with the Licking County Health Department. "Time is everything so if people have a kit they can quickly get this nasal spray Naloxone into them until the medics arrive. That could save a life right there."
Dyer said she hears maybe people question why they should save an addict. She said each time someone addicted is saved, it gives them one more chance to get clean.
"That gives her another opportunity, instead of burying her, I get a chance for her to choose recovery again," Dyer said.
Dyer is part of a Facebook group for the parents whose children are struggling with addiction.