A new heroin overdose antidote is now available to all emergency personnel in Carroll County. The drug is called Narcan (Naloxone) and it is a prescription medicine that blocks the effects of opioids and reverses an overdose. Emergency personnel such as EMT’s, firefighters, police officers and the University of West Georgia Police Department (UWGPD) have been trained with this drug to handle situations in which they feel an opioid overdose has occurred.
“Drug overdoses have been an issue in Carroll County for the last 10 years,” said Officer Stacy Williams of the Carrollton Police Department.
According to UWGPD Sargent Reinhold Dorberth, drug overdoses will begin to decrease thanks to this medication.
“If the Narcan is administered in a timely manner while the victim is still breathing, it has proven over and over again that it will save lives,” said Dorberth. “It can bring people back from the brink. I believe there are going to be a lot of lives saved now that the first responders have the Narcan kit.”
Since the beginning of last year, the state of Georgia has had over 1,200 opioid related deaths, which is twelfth most in the U.S.. The majority of those that died were between the ages of 21 and 35.
“They quit breathing and then go into cardiac arrest,” said Captain Chase Kip, firefighter for the Carroll County Fire Department. “This drug is made to pretty much hinder that and keep them from going into that state and keep people around for a much longer period of time hopefully.”
Each Narcan kit that is available to emergency personnel is generally kept in a labeled pack inside their vehicles. The drug is small and is sprayed into both nostrils of the victim. The full dose is around 4 milligrams per nostril. Narcan is known to have no negative side effects for the victim. Chasse went on to explain that in some cases Narcan was administered to someone who was believed to be dealing with an opioid overdose but was actually under the influence of something else.
Narcan used to only be available in hospitals and in over-the-counter prescriptions. Now that medical personnel in Carroll County have on-sight access to this life-saving drug, it will help keep more citizens safe.