Governor announces partnership to provide overdose reversal drug at Ohio rest areas

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine has announced a partnership among the RecoveryOhio initiative, the Ohio Department of Transportation and the Ohio Department of Health’s Project DAWN (Deaths Avoided With Naloxone) to install lifesaving Naloxone kits at rest areas across the state.

“Increasing access to Naloxone is critical to combatting the opioid crisis and decreasing the number of overdose deaths in Ohio,” said DeWine. “By placing Naloxboxes in rest areas across the state we are providing more opportunities to reverse the deadly effects of illicit opioids and providing opportunities for Ohioans to choose recovery.”

Naloxone, also known as Narcan, is a nasal spray that can be provided to someone suffering from an opioid overdose, blocking the deadly effects of opioids on the brain and restoring consciousness and breathing. It is harmless if it is given to a person not experiencing an opioid overdose. More than 130 boxes with naloxone are being installed at 65 rest areas across the state.

Last year, unintentional drug overdoses in Ohio resulted in 4,915 deaths, according to the Ohio Department of Health. That is nearly four times greater than the 1,275 fatalities caused by motor vehicle crashes over the same period.

In 2014, Project DAWN distributed 2,894 naloxone kits, which resulted in 190 known overdose reversals. In 2022, the number of kits distributed had grown to 205,584 and the known overdose reversals to 18,244.

The common signs and symptoms of an opioid overdose include unresponsiveness, slow or no breathing, blue lips or fingernails, choking or coughing, cold or clammy skin, small pupils, and dizziness or disorientation.

Access b-roll of Naloxbox installation and view a map of rest stops with planned Naloxboxes. Installation will continue throughout the month of September. Ohioans can also order Naloxone to be delivered to their home at