SAN LUIS OBISPO — The Sheriff’s Office, in cooperation with the County Emergency Medical Services agency, has announced on May 16 that it is the first law enforcement agency in the County to begin carrying and administering Naloxone to victims of opioid overdose.
Naloxone is considered an “overdose antidote” and can reverse the effects of powerful opioids. In many cases, an overdose may cause a person to stop breathing and ultimately lead to death. Naloxone, which is also known by its brand name Narcan, is a medication designed to rapidly reverse opioid overdose. It can very quickly restore normal respiration to a person whose breathing has slowed or stopped as a result of overdosing with heroin or prescription opioid pain medications.
“This is called the second chance medicine and for good reason,” said Sheriff Parkinson. “It’s been proven to save lives and we here at the Sheriff ’s Office are proud to be the first law enforcement agency in the County to provide this to all our Deputies on patrol.”
According to statistics from the San Luis Obispo County Opioid Safety Coalition, in this County, opioid-related overdose deaths increased from 15 in 2006 to 37 in 2016.
Earlier this year, and in response to the opioid crisis, the County Emergency Medical Services agency adopted a policy and protocol that would authorize trained law enforcement officers to carry and administer Naloxone to victims of opioid overdose. “
It’s about saving lives,” said Vince Pierucci, Emergency Medical Services Director for the County Public Health Department. “Every moment matters during an overdose, and this new program equips Deputies to use Naloxone as soon as they arrive at the scene.”
In early April 2018, overdose kits containing Naloxone in nasal spray form were distributed to patrol stations and have been available for use by Deputies when needed.
Though the general public can obtain Naloxone, law enforcement officers are considered first-responders and require training beyond their standard first-aid and CPR in order to carry and administer Naloxone.
For more information on the Naloxone program contact Vince Pierucci, Emergency Medical Services Director, at 805-788-2512.