Project DAWN continues to save lives


Project Dawn (Deaths Avoided with Naloxone) is credited with saving 68 lives in 2015.

Project DAWN originated in the Portsmouth City Health Department in 2013, when Scioto County was chosen by the Ohio Department of Health to be Ohio’s first Community-Based Naloxone Overdose Reversal Project.

Since that time, Project DAWN has been expanded throughout Ohio and area first responders are getting trained to carry and administer the drug.

“There were 68 overdose reversals done by community citizens who are trained through our Project DAWN program (in 2015). That includes law enforcement and fire departments,” Lisa Roberts, a public health nurse with the Portsmouth City Health Department, said.

When asked about the success of the program Roberts said, “There is an effort state wide to get Naloxone in the hands of regular people. There have been legislative changes at the state level, to make it easier for that to happen.”

Some of the laws have changed, which will allow pharmacies to train people how to properly use the drug and dispense it.

Roberts said it’s obvious the program is working because of the lives it has saved.

Participants of Project Dawn 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.

When asked where the program is headed in 2016 Roberts said, “We’re hoping to see more emergency medical services use it. We’re going to take Project DAWN mobile and we’re going to do some outreach in some communities where there is a hot spot for overdoses in the county.”

She said the people trained to administer the program are not having any trouble; they are finding that it’s effective and a rewarding experience to save a life.

The clinic located inside the Portsmouth City Health Department (605 Washington Street, Portsmouth) holds a group class every week to train those interested in learning how to administer the drug.

That class is held every Friday at 3 p.m.

Registration is required, to ensure the clinic is prepared with enough material. To registered for the class call 740-353-8863.

For more information about Project Dawn, visit them on Facebook.

By Wayne Allen

[email protected]

Wayne Allen can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 1933 or on Twitter @WayneallenPDT

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