DATE: Friday, November 07, 2014
SUBJECT: Sheriff’s Deputies Trained to use Narcan
CONTACT: Lt. Noah Robinson
AUTHORITY: Sheriff Dave Wedding

Emergency rooms, paramedics and emergency medical technicians have been using an anti-overdose drug called Narcan since it was first developed in the 1960’s. This life saving substance was recently approved by the FDA for use as a pocket sized spray. When administered via the nose, Narcan (Naloxone) can counteract the fatal effects of a heroin or opiate overdose.

The Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Office began training Sheriff’s deputies this week thanks to a state law that went into effect in July of this year. Indiana’s “overdose prevention law” allows law enforcement officers, fire fighters and first responders to administer Narcan to a victim of an opiate overdose. In addition to regular first aid training, Sheriff’s deputies are now trained to recognize an opiate overdose and to administer Narcan.

“Protecting life is the core mission of the Sheriff’s Office,” said Sheriff Dave Wedding. “We train our staff in CPR and the use of automated defibrillators; Narcan is another life saving tool that we now have at our disposal. If our Narcan program allows us to save even one life, it will have been well worth the effort.”

Vanderburgh County is not immune to the nationwide increase in heroin-related overdose deaths. Prescription painkillers such as Oxycodone and Hydrocodone are commonly abused prescription opiates that can slow and even stop breathing when taken at non-therapeutic levels. Often a responding Sheriff’s deputy is the first to arrive at the scene of an overdose. Minutes count in an overdose situation, so quick delivery of Narcan can dramatically increase the chances of a positive outcome. The sprayed version of Narcan is readily absorbed in the nasal cavity and does not have to be “breathed in”.

Our sincere thanks are extended to Fire Chief Keith Kahre, the Scott Township Fire Department and St. Mary’s Medical Center for providing training, support and technical assistance to our office and staff.

Pictured above: Deputy Robert Schmitt (foreground) attends First Aid class, which for the first time included Narcan training.

Pictured above: Narcan with nasal atomizer device.