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Toledo bus drivers receive Narcan training to battle heroin epidemic

As some of us know all to well, Lucas County is struggling with prescription drug use and opioid addiction. This public health crisis requires a collective response.

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - As some of us know all to well, Lucas County is struggling with prescription drug use and opioid addiction. This public health crisis requires a collective response.

With the help of the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department, TARTA bus drivers will now be equipped and trained on how to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose if it is caught in time.

It's very rare that an overdose happens on Tarta buses, but now, over 300 drivers are prepared just in case. TARTA drivers are with the public every day and now are armed with the tools to save lives, whether they're working that day or not.

"We're one of the top ten cities in the country in terms of having this problem," James Gee, General Manager for TARTA said. "With fentanyl being one of the worst drugs out there. Having Narcan available to treat, at least on a short-term basis, a fentanyl overdose, I think is going to be a big benefit to our entire community."

Narcan is the brand name for the overdose reversal drug Naloxone. The Health Department is currently conducting training sessions daily to groups and individuals. Both the training and Noloxone kits are being provided free of charge.

"We try to work with as many community partners as we can, whether it's public or private sector because it seems to be expanding through different populations, different communities," Shannon Lands, Public Information Officer for Toledo-Lucas County Health Department said. "And if we can equip people to help potentially save someone from overdosing on an opiate and saving their life, we're going to do that."

If you see someone you think is in crisis, it is best to call 9-1-1 right away. For more information on how to get trained yourself, you can contact the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department at 419-213-4135.

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