Fire dept. fighting heroin abuse with recovery brochures, follow ups

They believe an informational packet with recovery resources, along with a home outreach program, will help addicts recover

COLERAIN TOWNSHIP, Ohio — EMS providers with the Colerain Township Fire Department are taking a different approach to treating heroin-overdose patients.

The new program involves reducing Narcan use, providing recovery resource information and follow-up visits.

Capt. Will Mueller said heroin abuse is on the rise in the community. Heroin overdose incidents have spiked from 51 in 2011, to 186 so far in 2015.

"This is a different battle that we are fighting right now, so it requires a little bit of a different plan of attack," he told WCPO. "Based on our professional assessment of the scene, if we determine that there is an addiction problem then we leave one of our recovery packets."

The department will also partner with a recovery counselor, and visit the addict at their home several days after the incident.

Paramedics are also scaling back the amount of Narcan they give to an overdose patient so that the patient does not completely revive and refuse transportation to a hospital.

"Data suggests that if we can get these patients who overdosed to a medical facility, covering resources are greater than if we left them at home," Mueller said.

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