NaloxoneOhio will direct orders to local Project DAWN programs
Harm Reduction Ohio not a participant
The state of Ohio launched a new site today to take naloxone orders from individuals, organizations, businesses and first responders.
The new web site is a joint project of the Ohio Department of Health, the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services and RecoveryOhio, which is Gov. Mike DeWine’s drug policy office. “This resource will provide Ohioans with a simplified process for obtaining free naloxone, and as a key partner in making this initiative a success, we wanted to give you a first look at this new website,” the state said in an introductory email.
The web site is essentially an attempt to streamline naloxone ordering and direct orders to local Project DAWN programs, mostly local health departments. Project DAWN (Deaths Avoided With Naloxone) is the Ohio Departmentn of Health’s program to distribute naloxone, a drug that reverses opioid overdoses. Narcan and Kloxxado are brand names for naloxone nasal sprays.
When using the web site, naloxone requesters will be directed mostly to local health department participating in the state’s Project DAWN effort. If a non-profit organization wants to distribute naloxone throughout the year, it will be asked to register become a Project DAWN program itself. The state currently has 124 Project DAWN programs in 74 of Ohio’s 88 counties.
The state said naloxone will be available in limited quantities. First responders can receive up to 100 kits. Local Project DAWN programs will determine how much naloxone is available for other requesters.
Harm Reduction Ohio (HRO) is the state’s largest Project DAWN program, distributing 31,500 kits through its online ordering system and a statewide network of 300+ lay distributors. However, Harm Reduction Ohio will not be participating in the NaloxoneOhio ordering service because it lacks the capacity to handle more orders.
Harm Reduction Ohio receives a $60,000 grant from the Ohio Department of Health to distribute 1,750 to 2,000 naloxone kits a year. With this money, HRO distributes 30,000+ kits a year in all 88 counties.
Project DAWN provides Harm Reduction Ohio about 20,000 naloxone kits per year at a cost of about $1.5 million a year. Most of this naloxone is funded by the $96 million annual State Opioid Response (SOR) grant that Ohio receives from the federal government. (HRO’s other 12,000 kits are donated from other sources, including the pharmaceutical industry’s DirectRelief charity.) In the upcoming year, the state expected to spend $9 million of the SOR grant on naloxone,
“We are enormously grateful to the state for providing us 20,000 naloxone kits a year. However, Harm Reduction Ohio is already functioning at way over capacity and lacks the staff, money or resources to handle additional orders from the state’s new web site,” said Harm Reduction Ohio President Dennis Cauchon.
“We support the state’s effort to streamline naloxone ordering. However, taking orders is the easy part. Distributing naloxone to people who need it in a cost-effective way is the hard part. Project DAWN is an amazing naloxone program, probably the best in the country. At the moment, the state spends too much buying an expensive product and not enough distributing this expensive product in an optimized and cost-effective way. This centralized ordering site is a good start to improved naloxone distribution in Ohio and I’m optimistic about its long-term success.”
The state published this list of Frequently Asked Questions about NaloxoneOhio for people who want to know more.