Officers trained on lifesaving drug

PEKIN, Ill. - Following the overdose death of her son in 2012, a Dunlap doctor worked to equip more first responders and members of the public with a nasal spray drug to save lives.

Now five years later, she's getting her wish. The state of Illinois requires all officers to go through narcan training.

Thursday, the Tazewell County Sheriff's Office took a new step toward protecting their community, learning how to give narcan to overdose patients. The drug can quickly reverse the effects of an opioid overdose.

Narcan will be available in jails and evidence rooms in case officers are accidentally exposed to opioids.

With the fetanyl and carfetanyl, you can actually overdose with breathing that in,” said Deputy Chief Jeffrey Lower. He adds, “There have been instances where officers in testing drugs have actually overdosed themselves, so we want to have that available to them.”

Joshua Jefferies is an EMT and Washington police officer, and helped give the presentation on Thursday. He's used the drug to save someone's life and believes the nasal spray is a step in the right direction to hopefully end Illinois' opioid epidemic.

If the ambulance is taking 15 minutes to get there, we can give the narcan early enough, and it has the potential to change from that person being dead to alive it makes a big difference,” said Jefferies.

In the state of Illinois, narcan nasal spray is available for in-store purchase, directly from a pharmacist. People who overdose and are saved with narcan should still go to the hospital immediately as the effects wear off after about 30 minutes.

 


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