Drug overdose calls decreasing in Louisville

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- Drug overdose calls within the city of Louisville are down since February which is an encouraging sign for health care workers.

"I knew that there was a crisis in Hepatitis C, but I didn't know the opioid crisis was as bad as it is," said Donald Davis.

He formed the Kentucky Harm Reduction Coalition two and a half years ago. It is a non-profit that educates the public on how to treat and respond to overdoses and the benefits of needle exchanges.  "More people who are participating in the exchange are using and they are getting naloxone," Davis explained.

It may be the main reason overdose calls are down in Louisville. Davis says more people are getting their hands on NARCAN, the brand of naloxone that's used by first responders. 

The coalition offers naloxone training at least twice a month. Davis says families are becoming more familiar with it.  "Family members will come to our trainings and get it because they have a family member who is using and they want to make sure they have it," he said.

Overdose runs by Louisville EMS are down each month since February, which was at its highest with 869.  First responders were called to 595 overdoses in June, the lowest all year.

The drop-in calls is significant, but health care workers believe that's because addicts are using NARCAN to reverse the overdose.

For more information on the resources provided by the Kentucky Harm Reduction Coalition, click here.

© 2017 WHAS-TV


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