Narcan Training

Shown here is a dose of naloxone hydrochloride, or Narcan, that can be sprayed up the nostril or injected.

INDIANAPOLIS — Gov. Eric Holcomb and the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration have announced a plan to fund a nearly $1 million distribution of a drug that helps to reverse the effect of an opioid overdose.

The goal is to make sure that naloxone, which reverses the effect of an opioid overdose, is available to Hoosiers most at risk of overdosing.

“In the face of COVID-19, it’s even more imperative that we provide resources and support for people with substance use disorders,” Holcomb said in a news release. “Making potentially lifesaving treatments more readily available is one of the top ways we can address this crisis.”

The funds were made possible by the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s state opioid response grant.

Naloxone, commonly known as Narcan, is a medication approved to prevent overdose by opioids. It blocks the toxic effects of an overdose and many times prevents the patient from death..

Overdose Lifeline Inc., an Indiana nonprofit, will distribute 25,000 doses of naloxone to first responders, families, friends and others who are likely to be the first on the scene if an individual overdoses. The organization has worked to prevent opioid overdoses since 2014.

FSSA and Indiana Department of Homeland Security also announced that Indiana’s emergency medical responders will be reimbursed in full when administering Naloxone. This decision was made in consultation with the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and will go into effect July 1. Indiana will become one of the first states to pay EMS providers for both the administration of the drug and the medication itself.

Previously, EMS personnel were able to administer naloxone under an expiring federal grant. Including naloxone as a covered Medicaid benefit will help ensure funding is available for EMS first responders to continue to administer naloxone.

Effective July 1, Indiana Health Coverage Programs, which includes the Healthy Indiana Plan, Hoosier Healthwise, Hoosier Care Connect and Traditional Medicaid, will reimburse specialty providers who bill the state after a naloxone administration. Indiana Health Coverage Programs and the Indiana Department of Homeland Security are also planning training sessions to provide guidance and to answer any questions.

First responders, families, caregivers and other individuals who would like to receive a supply of naloxone can register online.

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