Opioid overdoses have burdened West Virginia for years now, but it’s not just drug abusers who could be effected by one.
That’s why in Hancock County the Sheriff’s Department are putting in a new policy, and training their deputies to use Narcan. Sheriff Ralph Fletcher tells 7News they want to reduce fatal Opioid overdoses, but also the department wants to ensure none of their officers or any people associated with users OD themselves.
It’s a problem most people know all too well.
“Medical emergency, unresponsive male.”
We’ve seen the lights, we’ve heard the devastating stories, but there is a way to combat an Opioid overdose.
“It’s the only pure antagonist that’s available out there. Nothing else is designed just to go for the opioid.”
After Sheriff Fletcher saw a story of one officer suffering an overdose close to home he realized something needed to be done in his area to ensure that doesn’t happen.
“We need to be able to protect not only the people affected by addiction, but those surrounding it including first responders,” said Fletcher.
So the sheriff’s department put together a policy that would allow their deputies to properly use Nasal Naloxone, better known as Narcan, on anyone suffering from an overdose.
“Cases of overdoses officers are usually the first ones on scene,” Fletcher said.
But, they can’t just give their deputies the narcan that’s why they had to train them on what to do in any situation they may need to use the Nasal Naloxone.
“We need to give them as much education as we can, so we do it as properly as we can,” said Fletcher.
Now, each Hancock County Sheriff marked patrol vehicle will have this form of narcan inside.
“You have a life saving drug on your possession, so you’re trained to use it, you’re trained to administer it.”
The only instance in which one of the deputies would distribute the narcan is if a medical first responder is not on scene.