The Osceola Police Department is now equip to save more lives now that each officer has two doses of Naloxone, better known as Narcan, on them at all times.
Narcan is a drug that can be used to counteract the effects of an opioid overdose. Opioids include heroine but often times they are legally prescribed drugs like fentanyl, morphine, oxycodone, methadone, hydrocodone and codeine.
“When taken out of prescription or in high doses can cause a person to faint, pass out or stop breathing,” said Osceola Chief of Police Marty Duffus. “This Narcan is something that we carry on us. If there’s an incident that’s happened fairly recently we can administer this and reverse the effects of the opioid.”
Duffus warns those with prescriptions for opioids to not take a second dose if they cannot remember taking their medicine that day. There is a possibility of overdose if people do that.
When officers are called to a scene where someone is unconscious for an unknown reason they can administer the Narcan. If there are no opioids in a persons system nothing will happen, there are no side effects to using Narcan is there are not opioids in a persons body. If there are opioids in a persons system the use of Narcan used in a timely manner can bring a person back to consciousness almost immediately.
“Opioid overdoses have become pretty prevalent, especially with Fentanyl because its attached to the Fentanyl patch and a lot of our substance abusers use that, they overdose on it and they die. There’s a fairly high death rate with this stuff but if we’re there within a certain time we can help them out and perhaps save their life,” said Duffus.
Each officer carries two doses on them and each dose costs $40. The Police Department was able to secure the Narcan free from a grant through the Iowa Department of Public Health. Duffus is looking at ways to replenish the stock of Narcan for the officers that won’t impact the Department’s budget.
“We also carry it for us because we get involved in narcotics warrants and things like that where we accidentally become exposed to these opioids and an officer goes down,” said Duffus. “So we also have it so we can counteract that and save our officer.”
Some agencies in Iowa reserve Narcan strictly for officers and not for the public.
“We thought, well if we have a life saving measure how do we not use it,” said Duffus.