‘In an overdose situation, minutes matter’: Naloxone coming to Ohio Turnpike Plazas

(AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)
Published: May. 17, 2023 at 11:00 AM EDT|Updated: May. 17, 2023 at 11:05 AM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Help for overdose victims is coming soon to all 14 Turnpike service plazas in the state.

Naloxone, also known by its brand name Narcan, is a medication that can reverse an overdose caused by opioid drugs. The nasal spray of naloxone will be placed in emergency-access naloxone cabinets.

“Ohio Turnpike employees and travelers who recognize that an individual requires medical assistance from an apparent opioid overdose or is accidently exposed to an opioid, now have the wherewithal to locate and administer naloxone at our service plazas,” said Ferzan Ahmed, executive director of the turnpike commission.

In addition to the installation of naloxone cabinets, all Ohio Turnpike foremen and assistant foremen, who are often first to arrive on the scene of an emergency, carry naloxone kits in their maintenance vehicles.

Also, nearly 800 Ohio Turnpike employees – including frontline maintenance/roadway workers and service plaza staff – have completed the turnpike commission’s online course, Saving a Life with Naloxone, which provides training on how to recognize the signs and symptoms of an opioid overdose and administer naloxone.

According to Ohio officials, unintentional drug overdoses resulted in nearly four times as many deaths as motor vehicle crashes in 2022.