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Local paramedics use non-addictive drug for pain to help fight opioid epidemic

LANCASTER COUNTY, Pa. -- Starting this week, Susquehanna Valley EMS in Lancaster County will start using a safer alternative to treat pain in an effort to help combat the opioid epidemic.

The drug is called Toradol and it can help reduce pain and inflammation. Paramedics say it is a non-addictive alternative to using opioids like morphine or fentanyl to treat many pain issues.

Susquehanna Valley EMS said last year, drug overdose deaths in Lancaster County were up 40 percent from the previous year. They said many of those deaths were caused by painkillers, heroin or fentanyl.

Operations Manager, Adam Marden, said he hopes using Toradol in appropriate cases will help in the fight against the opioid epidemic.

"We're hoping we can treat the patient and take away their pain and hope that they don't get addicted to any other medications," explained Marden.

Susquehanna Valley EMS is one of the first in Lancaster County to stock their ambulances with Toradol. This is part of a statewide initiative encouraging ambulances to carry the non-addictive drug to treat pain.