When they encounter opioid OD, these cops can save lives
Yolo County sheriff’s deputies and correctional officers will now carry Narcan in an effort to prevent opioid overdose deaths, the department announced Tuesday.
Sheriff’s patrol and correctional personnel have been trained to use naloxone (brand name Narcan), a nasal spray medication that can be administered to restore breathing to those suffering opiate overdoses, the Sheriff’s Office said in a news release.
Yolo County reported it has had three opioid-related deaths so far in 2019, 16 last year and five in 2017, according to the news release. Dangerous opioid drugs include heroin and fentanyl.
“Many of Yolo County’s residents reside in rural and semi-rural settings that are located a considerable distance from Emergency Medical Services,” the news release notes. “Because of this, Sheriff’s Office personnel may be the first emergency responders to arrive at the scene of an overdose.”
Naloxone temporarily blocks opioid effects, and can prevent death and permanent brain damage caused by overdose. It is not addictive and has no known adverse effects on non-overdosing individuals, the news release says.
Sheriff Tom Lopez set up the program in partnership with Yolo Emergency Medical Services Agency and the state Department of Public Health. A grant by the latter helped provide the Narcan.
“This program will save lives, and is long overdue,” Lopez said in a prepared statement.
Last May, the Sacramento Police Department implemented a policy requiring all of its officers to be trained in use of naloxone.
Sacramento County also received a grant from the state health department last year, providing 2,900 doses of naloxone early last year. Those doses were distributed to the county’s eight law enforcement agencies.