Governor DeWine announces partnership to provide Narcan at all Ohio rest areas

Published: Sep. 22, 2023 at 11:00 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Ohio’s governor Mike DeWine is partnering with RecoveryOhio, the Ohio Department of Transportation and the Ohio Department of Health to install naloxone kits in all Ohio rest areas.

Access to naloxone, or narcan, will soon be available at every rest area and service plaza throughout the state of Ohio. By the end of September, 65 rest areas across the state will have more than 130 boxes of the life-saving drug.

“We know that overdoses can happen anywhere so it’s really, really important that people have access to the life-saving drug, naloxone, no matter where they may be, out and about, on our roads, in our libraries, in our restaurants, that it’s easily accessible” said Aimee Shadwick, director of RecoveryOhio.

Shadwick told 13 Action News that local community partners reported seeing an increase in overdoses at service plazas, rest areas and along the roadways, so access to narcan everywhere was something they thought could help.

“When some people think about our roadways, they think about the rest areas and they don’t really think about the difference between the turnpikes or interstate,” said Shadwick. “For us those are different, but for this project what that means is if you’re at a service plaza along the turnpike or you’re at a rest area along the interstate, the naloxone will be available.”

And those stopping at rest areas are starting to notice them.

“I believe it would be a benefit to society being at this location because maybe people in route to the hospital that are dying may not make it there and they could pick the Narcan up here.” said Joseph Pettus.

“I suppose yeah, they’re fully accessible to someone that is having an emergency.” said Jason Saldausky.

“That’s exactly why we’re doing it,” said Shadwick. “Again, this life-saving medication can save people’s lives and even if it’s one person’s life, that’s what we’re focused on and the governor is focused on every single day.”

13 Action News spoke with representatives from the governor’s office and they say that because rest areas are in locations that aren’t necessarily close to places where naloxone would be available, it helps with accessibility to the drug in emergency situations.

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