Use of drug antidote declines for Winona ambulance service - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Use of drug antidote declines for Winona ambulance service

WINONA, Minn. (KTTC) -- Numerous cases of heroin overdoses have been recently publicized in the area, but one local ambulance service said they are seeing a decline in the use of naloxone, a drug commonly used as an antidote to treat drug overdoses.

In 2013, Winona Area Ambulance Service administered the drug naloxone to 23 patients. Since January, EMT professionals have only given the drug to seven patients, which is about a third less than last year.  

Previously, only some medical professionals could administer naloxone. In August, however, Minnesota law enforcement officials and firefighters will be authorized to use it in emergency situations. It's a change one Winona doctor fully supports.

"It's a safe medication that should be readily available. This isn't just a medication for drug users or other types of populations, this is your father, brother, mother, who may need help after a surgery. It should be out there and available to the public," said EMS Medical Director John M. Gallagher, MD.

Naloxone, also known as narcan, is typically administered by either inhalation or injection.

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