SCSO personnel soon to field Narcan, emergency drug overdose treatment

Sheriff Dix and Drew Miller for web 7.5.17

STAFF REPORT :::

Personnel of the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office will soon be fielding Narcan (naloxone) kits to be used in the event of a drug overdose.

According to a press release issued by Spalding County Sheriff Darrell Dix, this potentially-life saving measure is being made possible with the assistance of a local businessman.

“With the help of our good friend Drew Miller, of Wynne’s Pharmacy, we will be able to have deputies assigned to each shift and in each division equipped and on the street with this life saving drug. Through his professional contacts, Mr. Miller was able to obtain the kits free of charge,” Dix said. “He has also volunteered to conduct training for our deputies that will include the signs and symptoms to look for, and the method of administering the Narcan to those in need. Narcan will also be available to Spalding County Detention Staff through our medical service with doses provided by Dr. Robert Hall.”

Each kit will contain two doses of Narcan, tracking information and a guide that covers instructions for use and a breakdown of the laws pertaining to its use.

Information obtained from SAMSHA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) show that in 2014, 28,647 drug overdose deaths involved some type of opioid, including heroin. U.S. overdose deaths involving prescription opioid analgesics increased to about 19,000 deaths in 2014 more than three times the number in 2001.

To address the problem, emergency medical personnel, health care professionals, law enforcement and even patients themselves are being trained in the use of the opioid antagonist naloxone hydrochloride (naloxone), which is the treatment of choice to reverse the potentially fatal respiratory depression caused by opioid overdose.

Legislation signed by Governor Nathan Deal in 2014 also gives the authority to administer this treatment, and waives liability for first responders who use Narcan to counteract an overdose.

“Having our Deputies equipped with Narcan will be a vital lifesaving tool that we hope we never have to use. Knowing that we have that capability is a good thing. Law enforcement agencies across the nation are fielding Narcan in increasing numbers and the stories of lives being saved are numerous. Even though we have not had a local increase in overdoses it is comforting to know that soon we will have the ability to act when we do run in to that situation,” Dix said.

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