MARION – An important drug distributor under fire for its role in the opioid epidemic has given several hundred doses of an overdose drug to Marion sheriff defendants.

Cardinal Health recently sent the first of two Narcan submissions to Crawford County Public Health, which will hand out approximately 1,260 doses as he overdoses drugs against officials in Crawford and Marion County.

The Cardinal Health donation, which has been called in dozens of legal proceedings against major drug and drug distributors, is part of an ongoing initiative by the company to respond to the opioid epidemic.

"What they tried to do was hit the states most affected by the opioid epidemic," said Brad DeCamp, Executive Director of Crawford-Marion, the Board for Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health.

The Dublin-based company plans to donate approximately 80,000 doses across four states – Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee and West Virginia – said Ellen Barry, a spokesman for cardinal health.

Marion County Sheriff Tim Bailey said his office had nearly 600 doses of Narcan. [19659000] More: Marion County to sue drug companies over opioid crisis

More: M arion county is behind the state in bending opioid recipe ]

The ADAMH board has provided deputies with narcan, free of charge for the sheriff's office, but bailey said that the donation of cardinal health was still significant.

"I think it's important if we can save some money or use them, that's what we want to do," he says. "Indeed, the fact that it was received by a contribution is significant that the taxpayer does not pay directly for it. "

Bailey said he plans to hold some of the doses to the sheriff's office and offer the rest to the county fire department.

" There is an expiration date on them so we want to make sure they are not on a shelf " he said.

In the more rural parts of the county, further away from the round-clock fire services, deputies may be the first on stage for an overdose.

"It's not uncommon we're the first there and Administer the first doses until the firing department arrives. We have been Bailey said.

But most overdose calls occur in Marion, Bailey said, where medics with town or township fire brigade respond to them. Marion Cops Do not Carry Narcan.

When asked about what kind of impact the donation might have on the county, DeCamp said: "I think it will generally be positive. I think we need to make what resources we have access to forensic care."

Cardinal health is one of three drug distributors who together control about 85 percent of the market share for opioid distribution.

The company has been appointed in a series of litigation filed by cities, villages and counties around countries seeking damage to the problems caused by opioid epidemics.

Marion County officials have announced their plans to submit a similar trial, although nothing has yet been submitted.

Bucyrus Telegraph Forum Reporter Olivia Minnier contributed to reporting to this story.

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