Angie Schlake, a paramedic with Blanchester Emergency Medical Services, holds a vial of naloxone, a drug used to reverse the effects of a heroin overdose. Bills are pending in at least seven states to increase access to the overdose antidote, but Schlake says it needs to stay out of the public's hands.
Angie Schlake, a paramedic with Blanchester Emergency Medical Services, holds a vial of naloxone, a drug used to reverse the effects of a heroin overdose. Bills are pending in at least seven states to increase access to the overdose antidote, but Schlake says it needs to stay out of the public's hands.
ELYRIA, Ohio (AP) — Health officials in a northeast Ohio city are giving away the drug naloxone (nuh-LOX'-ohn) to be administered to people who overdose on heroin or painkillers.

The (Elyria) Chronicle-Telegram reports that seven people have received the free kits thus far in Elyria, University Hospitals Elyria Medical Center provided the kits, which normally cost $30.

Recent state data shows a record number of Ohioans died from heroin-related overdoses in 2012. Heroin addiction has been increasing as prescription painkiller abusers turn to the cheaper and more readily available drug.

A new state law effective this year allows people to administer the drug, known commercially as Narcan, without fear of being prosecuted. They must call 911 immediately before or after giving the antidote.