Jennings Co. Health Dept. handing out free Narcan after rash of - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Jennings Co. Health Dept. handing out free Narcan after rash of overdoses

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VERNON, Ind. (WDRB) -- After a spike of overdoses in southern Indiana, some want to make sure the heroin antidote is in the right hands. 

More than a dozen overdoses were reported in a span of just hours. Now officials want to be prepared if it happens again. 

The Jennings County Health Department is handing out free kits of Narcan for the first time. 

"We consider this a crisis in our community," said Public Health Nurse Pam Petry. 

The Scott County Health Department brought part of its supply, 50 kits, to Vernon on Wednesday. Each kit has two doses inside, and it's free for whoever wants to pick it up. 

"It needs to be out there," Petry said. "Out there where its gonna do some good." 

In Jennings County, police say there were reports of 10 overdoses between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning. Four more happened in nearby Seymour. 

Officials say one batch of heroin could be to blame, and it may have been laced with a drug called Carfentanyl, which is typically used as an elephant tranquilizer. 

"A minimum of two doses was getting administered to each patient when we arrived on scene, sometimes more to get results," said Jennings Co. Sheriff's Dept. Lt. Mike Mowery. 

The Jennings County Sheriff's Office has carried Narcan for about a year and a half. Each deputy patrols with one dose and Mowery says he never thought they'd go through so much in one night. 

"When deputies responded to these calls, they were using the dose of Narcan they had, and then EMS would arrive and sometimes have to use more," he said. 

Other agencies have stepped up the replenish the department's supply. And a new protocol is in place where officers will now patrol with two doses of Narcan. 

"We're first responders, so we need to be prepared for situations like this," Mowery said. 

The Jennings County Health Department is training people who want the Narcan on how to use it and providing information about treatment. 

The department is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. 

Related Stories:

Several arrested, one dead, after reports of over a dozen overdoses in southern Indiana

U of L toxicologist says heroin concoction becoming 100 times more dangerous

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