A Holly Springs police officer became the first within the agency to utilize an antidote designed to reverse the effects of a drug overdose.
At around 9 a.m. Wednesday, June 11, Sgt. Nathan Ernst administered the department’s first dose of Naloxone, the life-saving opiate antagonist.
Sgt. Ernst responded to a medical call at a home in Morgan Falls subdivision. Once he arrived onto the scene, he found a 24 year old woman unconscious and experiencing seizures.
"Sgt. Ernst recognized the indicators of an opiate overdose and immediately administered Naloxone to the victim, who then became conscious and coherent," the Holly Springs Police Department said in a press release.
The officer was one of several officers who went through a law enforcement overdose prevention training on June 4 and received his naloxone kit after completing the training.
Holly Springs' arms all uniform patrol officers with Naloxone (Narcan), which is used to reduce drug overdoses through nasal administration of the antidote.
"The continuing rise in prescription abuse and subsequent rise in heroin use has resulted in an increase in opioid overdoses," the agency said in a news release. "As people become hooked on prescription pills and can no longer access them; many resort to more accessible drugs, particularly heroin."
Opioid prescription drug the abuse is on the rise and can include drugs such as Codeine, hydrocodone, oxycodone, OxyContin and Percocet.
Officers are typically the first responders to this type of medical emergency, as they secure the scene for emergency responders. With this program, all sworn patrol personnel will carry nasal Narcan in their vehicle.
Narcan is an opioid receptor blocker which, when administered quickly, will result in temporarily reversing the overdose. It's widely used by medical emergency personnel across the country with "great success" and law enforcement agencies are starting to deploy the antidote to its uniform officers.
Reversing the overdose will allow time for more advanced treatment to the patient, the agency said.