FOX 45 Special Report: What is the true cost of Narcan?
DAYTON, Ohio (WKEF/WRGT) - It's saving lives by the thousands.
Many first reponsers are now carrying Naloxone to prevent more drug addicts from dying.
In a special report, FOX 45's Rhonda Moore looked at how much Montgomery County is spending of your tax payer money.
Many people call Naloxone by the brand name Narcan, and officers around the Miami Valley are using it daily on addicts who've overdosed.
"It works, Narcan works," said Billy Brokschmidt.
Billy Brokschmidt knows a lot about Narcan..
"Because it saved my life twice," he said.
He overdosed on heroin four years ago.
"The first time I was at a friend's house and we were all getting high togehter.," said Brokschmidt.
He overdosed on fentanyl two years ago sitting in his car.
"The fentanyl is just so highly toxic and it is taking more of the Narcan, more doses of the NARCAN to bring people back . Sometimes 6, 7, 8, 9 times. I talked to one person yesterday and had 18 times it took to bring someone back.," said Ohio Attorney General Mike Dewine.
Stories like that make some people unsympathetic to addicts, and they also don't like taxpayers footing the bill for Narcan.
"For Thanksgiving, a cousin mentioned, you know, you should use it one time on him atter that no more," said Brokschmidt.
Our FOX 45 facebook page is filled with comments like that.
One said "Let the junkies OD and die."
Another said "How about no Narcan. It's ridiculous having four or more injections to revive them."
"I would be dead if that was the case," said Brokschmidt.
Others don't understand why Narcan is free for addicts.
One comment on Facebook said "They need to pay. No one pays for diabetics, cancer, depression, allergy or any other medication that people need."
Another asked "Is this money coming from taxes?"
In Montgomery, Clark and Miami counties, the health departments get a state grant to supply narcan to law enforcement.
"Grant's taxpayer money and we could be using for something else instead of Narcan. If we didn't have this epidemic right now," said Montgomery County Sheriff Phil Plummer.
In Montgomery County, the health department gets $20,000 and ADAMHS gets $80,000 to buy Narcan kits for officers.
"But it's still taxpayer money" said the reporter.
"It's a combination of state taxpayer money coming from the Department of Health and then county taxpayer money via the Human Services Levy," said Director of Treatment at ADAMHS Jodi Long.
"The problem with that is we can come out and hit you with $600 worth of Narcan today, you come back to life, get up and walk off and we can do it again tomorrow. So when does it stop? " said Plummer.
Each Narcan kit is about $70 with two doses.
"Eighty-thousand dollars typically purchases around 1,000 kits," said Long.
Checking the Miami Valley's largest areas, we found that Dayton's used 403 doses so far this year. Clark County has given 136, and Miami County's used 30 doses.
"Even if it just saves a couple lives it's worth that investment," said Brokschmidt.
Billy's been clean 15 months and now works with Families of Addicts.
"So you're a success story? " FOX 45's Moore asked.
"So far, yes ma'am," said Brokschmidt.
Hospitals pay for Narcan for EMS workers.
The Montgomery County Sheriff's Department just started carrying Narcan in January.
In Montgomery County, Dayton Police store and distribute Narcan to any police department that wants it.