FISHERS, Ind. (WDRB) -- Starting Wednesday, an Indiana fire department is using non-addictive laughing gas at the scene of emergencies.

According to Fox59, officials with the Fishers Fire Department near Indianapolis say the gas is an alternative to opioids for pain management.

To be eligible for the laughing gas, patients must be alert enough to use the mask themselves. The gas is reportedly 90 percent effective in controlling pain and reduces anxiety.

Officials say they hope using the gas leads to fewer people becoming addicted to opioids.

"It really comes down to the number of overdoses that we respond to," Fishers Fire Captain John Mehling said. "Fishers is not immune to that problem, and we're trying to look at any and all ways that we can prevent people becoming addicted to opioids."

Opioids like fentanyl will still be used in certain situations, but the fire department hopes the treatment change will reduce its use by 66 percent.

Department administrators will closely monitor the laughing gas' effectiveness and will provide information to health officials.

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