Life-saving overdose treatment available thanks to local mother

By Chad Weber
By Ashley McNamee

February 18, 2013 Updated Oct 26, 2013 at 1:12 AM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- A drug to treat opiate overdoses is coming to rural volunteer rescue services across Central Illinois to provide a life-saving treatment before patients can get to a hospital.

It is thanks to one local mother, who lost her son to a drug overdose and is now trying to prevent anyone else from suffering the same fate.

Tamera Olt is the mother of Dunlap High School sophomore Joshua Olt.

He died as a result of a heroin overdose last April.

Since then Olt has worked to bring the life-saving treatment Naloxone to volunteer EMT services.

Naloxone, sold under the brand name Narcan, works within minutes to revive individuals suffering from an opiate overdose.

"After Josh died, the first ambulance that came to my house was a volunteer ambulance," said Olt. "They were not allowed to carry a Naloxone and I was shocked. Why wouldn't that be on every ambulance? The suburban and rural areas are the areas where the overdoses are increasing. That's where we are seeing the most of them."

Olt also wants teens to know about Illinois' Good Samaritan Law.

It protects those who help someone having an overdose, even if they are on drugs or have a small amount of drugs on them.

"When friends, acquaintances are with someone who overdoses," said Olt, "they are afraid they are going to get arrested so they run and leave the person and they die. The message is don't run. Call 911. You are protected by the Good Samaritan law in Illinois."

Olt, an OB-GYN in Peoria, is currently providing the training and supplies of Naloxone for free.

Tuesday kicks off the formation of the Peoria County Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition, which is being lead by the Coroner Johnna Ingersoll.