San Diego County CA– When someone is not breathing and suffering from an opiate overdose, every second counts. Sheriff’s Deputies are often the first to arrive on scene and they are in a position to save overdose victims.
Starting Monday, July 7th, deputies at the Santee Sheriff’s Station will be carrying Naloxone, the generic form of the drug commonly known as Narcan. It is a nasal spray that can be given to victims of an opiate overdose in order to help save their lives. Naloxone does not produce a high. Opiates are a group of commonly abused drugs that are used to treat pain. An overdose of heroin or other opiates can reduce a person’s ability to breathe and leave the user unconscious. Untreated, the user could die.
The Sheriff’s Department is the first law enforcement agency in California to use Naloxone on the streets. Deputies patrolling Santee, Lakeside and unincorporated areas of El Cajon will test Naloxone for six months to determine the effectiveness and feasibility of implementing the program throughout the Sheriff’s jurisdiction.
The program will be administered under the direction of County Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Director, Doctor Bruce Haynes. Dr. Haynes was instrumental in developing the protocol, procedures and training necessary for the deputies to administer Naloxone. The program supplements and supports existing emergency medical response protocols by allowing deputies to administer Naloxone prior to the arrival of EMS units. EMS will continue to respond and take over patient care upon arrival.
Sheriff Bill Gore says Naloxone can make a difference and fits into our mission. “Our goal is to save lives. Overdoses from opiate based prescription and illicit drugs, like Oxycodone and Heroin, have taken the lives of children and adults alike in San Diego County. Sheriff’s Deputies will be trained to administer Naloxone when they are the first responders on the scene of an overdose. Once the immediate danger passes, there can be a path to recovery which will hopefully break the cycle of drug addiction. ”
Scripps Health donated $4,500 for the pilot program. Scripps Health CEO and President Chris Van Gorder says Naloxone could be part of the solution: “Scripps is pleased to have the opportunity to partner with the Sheriff’s Department in this effort to reduce drug overdose deaths. Administering potentially life‐saving therapy in the field could keep a patient alive long enough for them to be taken to an emergency room where more help can be delivered.”
Scripps Health is a nonprofit integrated health system based in San Diego that treats a half‐million patients annually through the dedication of 2,600 affiliated physicians and 13,750 employees among its five acute‐care hospital campuses, hospice and home health care services, and an ambulatory care network of physician offices and 25 outpatient centers and clinics.
When Naloxone is used in the field, deputies will give victims and their family members a brochure with information on recognizing the signs of an overdose and treatment options.
McAlister Institute has partnered with the Sheriff’s Department and will provide drug prevention and addiction treatment services during the Naloxone pilot period. Substance abuse help is always available to anyone who is struggling or is worried about a friend or loved one, including teens who are eligible for a free initial drug test at any of McAlister’s recovery centers. More information about McAlister Institute’s programs and services can be found by calling (619) 442‐0277 or (619) 987‐6393. Counselors are also always available through the County’s Crisis Hotline 24 hours per day at (888) 724‐7240.
You can safely get rid of unwanted or expired medications at any Sheriff’s Station or Substations weekdays from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. For locations, click [Here].