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Officials prepare for fight against new drug that’s resistant to Naloxone

A new form of heroin laced with fentanyl is making it harder to revive users with Naloxone who have overdosed on opiates. (WSYX/WTTE)

A new form of heroin laced with fentanyl is making it harder to revive users with Naloxone who have overdosed on opiates.

"It's making it difficult for Naloxone to work. We have to use more of it, to get desired result," said Columbus Fire Battalion Chief Steve Martin.

Officials say acrylfentanyl is made overseas and is being sold as a designer drug.

"It's a never-ending battle. It's a constant fight with the drugs coming across the border," said Michael Bulgrin, Assistant Special Agent in Charge with the Drug Enforcement Administration.

The mixture has already been found near Dayton and the Miami Valley.

While the highly potent drug has not been seen in Central Ohio, first responders are already preparing for when it does show up and what to do if Naloxone cannot immediately revive a user who has overdosed.

"We are going to go ahead and give the drug until it works, or we are going to artificially breathe for them," said Martin.

While paramedics have enough supply to administer multiple doses of Naloxone to revive an opiate user should the initial treatment not be enough, their concern is for families and friends who have a limited stock on hand to save a loved one who has overdosed.

"If they have one or two doses, it may not be enough with these new drugs coming on board," said Martin.

Martin said if there is not enough Naloxone to revive a user who has overdosed, he recommends administering mouth-to-mouth resuscitation until paramedics arrive.

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