Ohio law enforcement officials offered training to prevent heroi - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

Ohio law enforcement officials offered training to prevent heroin deaths

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COLUMBUS, Ohio -

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine has announced the creation of a new course that teaches law enforcement officers how to administer a drug that reverses the effects of opioids on the brain.

Naloxone also can limit or stop an overdose when given to an individual overdosing on heroin or a prescription opioid.

"Law enforcement officers are often among the first to encounter an overdose victim, and naloxone is another tool that can be used to save those who are bordering on death," said Attorney General DeWine. "Statistics gathered by my office show that an average of at least 17 people died each week in 2013 from a heroin overdose, and this free course gives officers the training they need to help them save lives."

The free training course was developed in response to House Bill 170, which was signed into law in March. The law allows officers to carry and administer naloxone, also known by the name Narcan.

The training course can be accessed by officers online. It will teach risk factors for overdoses, signs and symptoms of an opioid overdose, and steps for administering naloxone.

House Bill 170 also gives friends, family members, or others who may be in the position to assist someone suffering from an opioid overdose the ability to administer naloxone as long as they receive the drug from a licensed health professional.

An educational video similar to the training course has been published as an informational and awareness tool for community members on the Ohio Attorney General's website.

That video can be viewed here:

In addition to creating the law enforcement naloxone training course and educational video for the public,  a video focused on heroin abuse prevention was also released. The video, entitled "Marin's Story: The Battle Against Heroin", features Marin Riggs, 20, who died of a heroin overdose in 2012. The video, which aims to prevent others from following Marin's path, has been viewed more than 58,000 times.

DeWine also announced the formation of a Heroin Unit to combat heroin trafficking and prevent heroin abuse. The Heroin Unit is composed of agents and investigators from the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation, prosecutors, and community outreach specialists.

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