Naloxone blocks or reverses the effects of opioid medication, including extreme drowsiness, slowed breathing, or loss of consciousness. (Governor Tom Wolf/ Creative Commons)
A new program tested by the Orange County Sheriff’s Department will allow select deputies to carry Naloxone Kits for emergency treatment of drug overdoses.
“If (deputies) arrive before the ambulance to the call, we can deploy (the drug) rather than having to wait for them,” said Lt. Jeff Hallock. “With this being an option we felt that this is an effective way to potentially decrease those (overdose deaths).”
Naloxone will be carried in patrol cars throughout the cities of Stanton, Mission Viejo and Laguna Niguel in a six month pilot.
This program was started due to the recent spikes in heroin overdoses in Orange County Between 2012 and 2014. A majority of Orange County overdose deaths are opiate related and have increased by 84 percent in the last three years.
“It’s no less of a problem in South County than the rest of Orange County,’ said Hallock. “We are seeing a high proportion of overdoses in Laguna Niguel, San Clemente and Dana Point where there are a lot of sober living homes.”
Funding for the program will be coming from proceeds in drug seizures and forfeiture cases.
Naloxone, also known as Narcan among other names, is a medication used to reverse the effects of opioids especially in overdose. The medication may be given intravenously, which works within two minutes, it may be injected into muscle, which works within five minutes, but the medication may also be used in the nose.
Photo used with CC BY 2.0.