PDT Staff Writer
Project DAWN has begun at the Portsmouth City Health Department.
Scioto County was chosen by the Ohio Department of Health to be Ohio’s first Community-Based Naloxone Overdose Reversal Project.
The program is funded with $40,000 in seed money from the ODH and adminitered by the Portsmouth City Health Department.
Participants of the program will be trained to recognize the signs and symptoms of overdose and able to distinguish between types of overdoes. Participants will also learn how to properly administer Naloxone.
According to the Federal Drug Administration, Naloxone is a synthetic drug, similar to morphine, that blocks opiate receptors in the nervous system.
“This is a good thing for Scioto County because we get to be the leader and set the stage for what the rest of the state does,” said Lisa Roberts. “We were asked to do this and they (ODH officials) will be providing funding. We will be setting the stage and establishing a program that has the potential to be replicated throughout the state.”
She said the Health Department will be working with the State Medical Board of Ohio to establish policies and procedures for the program.
“This is a harmless drug,” Roberts said. “It has one use and one use only: to restore respiration and take the opiates off the brain when someone is experiencing an overdose. There is no potential for abuse and is regularly used in hospitals in overdose situations.”
Roberts said the Portsmouth Health Department got to name the program, since it was the first site. The program is named after Leslie Dawn Cooper, the daughter of Barbara Howard. Cooper lost her life to prescription drug overdose.
The program will be called “Project DAWN — Deaths Avoided with Naloxone.”
For more information call Roberts at 740-353-5153 or visit www.healthyohioprogram.org/vipp/drug/ProjectDAWN.aspx
Wayne Allen may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 208, or email@example.com.