Narcan approved for use on overdose victims

Police and deputies in Erie County could soon be reviving overdose victims
Tom Jackson
Mar 18, 2014

 

A program that has saved the lives of heroin overdose victims in Lorain County will soon be coming to Erie County.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich has signed a new law that allows law enforcement officers to administer emergency doses of Narcan when a heroin user is unresponsive after an apparent overdose.

“Anything we can do as first responders to save people’s lives, I’m in favor of,” Perkins police Chief Ken Klamar said. “That’s what we’re here to do. At the end of the day, we want to help people”

The law extending the use of Narcan, also known as Naloxone, comes in the wake of a successful pilot program in Lorain County that’s been credited with saving a number of lives. The drug is usually administered as a nasal mist into a person’s nostrils. Police and deputies in Lorain County have used it to revive drug overdose victims who were apparently near death.

Klamar said he’ll be issuing Narcan to his patrol officers as soon as they can be trained to use it.

“I’ve seen it work here in the township when our paramedics arrive on scene and have been able to administer it” Klamar said.

There are cases when a police officer who happens to be nearby will be the first person to arrive in an emergency, Klamar said.

“The officer may be two or three homes away. We can sometimes beat them by four or five minutes” Klamar said. “That can make a huge difference when somebody’s not breathing”

Sandusky police Chief John Orzech said his officers have been dealing with heroin situations, and he wants to save lives, but he needs to research the matter before making an announcement.

“I’ve asked the law director and the fire chief to give me their thoughts and their comments on it,” Orzech said.

Erie County Sheriff Paul Sigsworth and health commissioner Pete Schade learned last year that the law was in the works and took the lead in making Narcan available here.

Sigsworth decided to issue Narcan to his deputies as soon as it became available, and he told other law enforcement agencies in the county about it. Schade agreed to provide the necessary training for the police officers and deputies.

Sigsworth said he’s determined to get Narcan into the hands of his deputies soon.

“We want to get that done as soon as possible” he said.

Schade said the health department has agreed to purchase the first batch of Narcan.

“We’re already talking with a couple of different pharmacies we deal with, trying to get it in here by the end of this week” he said.

He said the health department has agreed to buy the first batch. The Mental Health and Recovery Board of Erie and Ottawa Counties has agreed to cover half the cost, and grants may become available, Schade said.

“Initially, I’m willing to put a couple of grand on the table and get it here” Schade said.

Comments

phroggy

I don't understand why we're protecting criminals.

mikeylikesit

that's what i said about hillary clinton and barry soetoro..

ReallyGood

Great. So is this something that if it isn't used a lawsuit can be filed?

ladydye_5

If it IS used and doesn't help? Then what?

gennycreamale

I get the fact that these people are somebody's loved one but how in the world is this addressing the problem??? This is promoting drug use and saying we will save you if you do it, it's ok! Thus giving a false sense of security to the addicts that this will bring you back when you do it. BAAAAADDD move.

SandtownFrown

Just because they say they can use it on someone doesn't make an addict feel more safe.. Some times its too late to even save someone.. Addicts will use regardless. They have a problem and can't stop without some help. This is not only saving someone's life but possibly giving them a second chance and hopefully a wake up call.

gennycreamale

Sandtown,
If they will use regardless, why put all the time, effort and money into rolling this out???
Why not focus on the problem of the drugs in our neighborhoods.
I just don't get this whole program all around!

SandtownFrown

Because it's about saving lives. Every life is equal to another. To think otherwise is just plain ignorant. And as far as time and money goes...it's not expensive to give a cop another tool to add to his belt. What's the big deal carrying a little medicine to save a life? They do focus on drugs in the area. They aren't going to stop doing their job to focus on carrying medicine on them.. Most addicts do not like the life they are living. Some want to stop but are so deep into it they can't just stop because of the withdrawal which is like having the flu times 100. If our city would offer free clinics for addicts to get treatment I think 80% of them would seek help and not have to worry about paying for it because they can just go spend a tiny fraction of that money to go get a fix and get "well"...it's a vicious cycle and hard to get out of. These are people man... They could be a doctor a lawyer. Nurses addiction doesn't discriminate. These people have kids brothers sisters wife a family and the life they had before all of this...they could get back if they had the money.. The support... It's people who don't understand it is the real problem...

Dolph02

let the scum die its called natural selection!!!!!

SandtownFrown

What if it was someone you love? Highly doubt you'd be acting pathetic anymore.