High overdose rate encourages deputies to carry life-saving spray

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EATON COUNTY, MI (WLNS) – Just as a deputy is equipped with a gun, every deputy in Eaton County now carries a First Aid kit in the field with medicine that can save someone’s life.

When criminals come to jail high Eaton County jail officials have to be prepared for the worst.

“We don’t have any idea if they’re going to be overdosing within a few minutes or not but when they do our medical staff are prepared,” said Sheriff Tom Reich, Eaton County Sheriff’s Office.

“Just in the last two years we’ve had five drug overdoses that have either come in through new arrests or through the court system,” said Bill Jenkins, health administrator, Eaton County.

But all five of those inmates were saved when jail officials gave them Narcan, an antidote which saves someone overdosing on drugs like Percocet, Vicodin or Heroin and it works like an allergy mist.

With a simple squirt into someone’s nose

Now deputies can take Narcan outside the jail walls and use it in the field.

“If we’re the first ones on the scene now that our deputies carry this in their vehicles, we can administer this drug.”

They will be able to identify an overdose situation and now be able to respond to that in the past they’ve had to wait for EMS to get there in that critical time frame a life could be lost.

Not only can deputies use Narcan if someone’s overdosing at their house, for example. Medical officials say it’s also very safe.

So say a child gets into grandma’s pill bottles and needs help, Narcan is safe enough for them.

And is not harmful if taken when you’re not overdosing.

A law was put into place last fall that allows families and friends of those at risk of an overdose to get those kinds of medicines from pharmacies.

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