Heroin abuse has received national attention in recent months, and no community in Ohio is immune to this epidemic. In 2015, Mifflin Township Fire responded to 117 calls for service which were considered unresponsive, 90 of which were overdoses. Those calls were up from 88 unresponsive calls, 56 of which were overdoses in 2014.
“The tragic loss of many young people in our community is increasing on a monthly basis due to heroin and opiate abuse,” said Chief William Price, Mifflin Township police. “It affects all of us, not only through the loss of a loved one, but through an increase in property crimes, dangerous activity and traffic accidents.”
In an effort to reduce the number of overdose fatalities in the township, Mifflin Township trustees passed a resolution at the April 4 meeting to allow township police officers to be trained in the use of Naloxone (also known as Narcan), a medication that can reverse an overdose caused by an opioid drug (heroin or prescription pain medications).
When administered during the first minutes of an overdose, Naloxone blocks the effects of opioids on the brain and quickly restores breathing. Naloxone has been used safely by emergency medical professionals for more than 40 years and has only this one critical function: to reverse the effects of opioids in order to prevent overdose death. Mifflin Township police officers will be trained on April 15 and 19 on the administration of Narcan by paramedics in the Mifflin Township Division of Fire in the event that they are the first on scene of an opioid overdose. Naloxone does not reverse overdoses that are caused by non-opioid drugs, such as cocaine, benzodiazepines (e.g. Xanex, Klonopin and Valium), methamphetamines, or alcohol.
Residents are encouraged to attend the event to learn more this serious problem affecting our community, and to learn what resources are available to them, should they know of someone who is fighting an addiction.
To learn more about the upcoming forum, or to obtain information if you cannot attend the event, contact Sgt. Tammy L. Phillips at the Mifflin Township Police Department at (614) 713-9083 or (614) 471-3548.
Mifflin Township has a police department that serves the unincorporated portion of the township. The division has a police station and employs 6 full time police officers and 7 part-time officers. The department received 4,543 calls for service in 2015.