COLUMBUS — Lorain County law officers and firefighters soon may carry a nasal spray that potentially could save the lives of people overdosing on narcotics.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich on Thursday signed the law, known as Senate Bill 57, in a ceremony with Sen. Gayle Manning, R-North Ridgeville.

Also attending were Lorain County Sheriff’s Detective Greg Mehling, who testified in General Assembly hearings on the law, and Elaine Georgas, executive director of the Lorain County Board of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services.

Lorain County Coroner Dr. Stephen Evans was invited but unable to attend, Manning said. He will administer the training and record the effectiveness of Narcan, a trade name for the drug naloxone, when used by first responders who encounter people overdosing.

The nasal spray can reverse the effects of an opiate overdose, but has not had adverse effects on people who are not affected by the drugs, proponents have said.

The law becomes effective in 90 days; after that Evans and officers of the Lorain County Drug Task Force will begin training for the year-long pilot program, Manning said.

“I get a call from Dr. Evans, he says, how are we doing getting this along? We lost another young one,” Manning said. “He gets very upset about this.”

Manning added she remains convinced the drug will save lives. Avon Lake recently sponsored a community forum on heroin addiction, which has spread through suburban and rural areas of Ohio, she said.

The pilot project was approved unanimously in the Ohio House and Senate. If it is effective, there is a good chance a similar Narcan program could be used across Ohio, Manning said.

 
 
 
  
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