Seven lives have been saved from heroin overdose in the first year of a Kane County Health Department program.
Think about that for a minute. Because of this program:
- Seven people have a second chance to find help.
- Seven families are not grieving the loss of a loved one.
- Seven fewer residents of our communities will be added to the alarming local and national statistics that measure one of the scourges of our time.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, drug overdose is now the leading cause of injury death in the United States. In 2013, more than 16,000 deaths in the United States involved prescription opioids, and more than 8,000 others were related to heroin.
While we know that abstinence from illegal drug use is the primary and most effective way to prevent an overdose, we also know it is unrealistic to think it can be 100 percent effective. Most users attempt to achieve abstinence from drugs but on average this process takes multiple years and several episodes to be successful.
So in July 2014, the Kane County Health Department started providing Naloxone, or Narcan, to police officers and other first responders as a way to stem the incidences of drug overdoses.
The Health Department renewed its commitment to continue to reach out and provide training to partner agencies, and a training was provided at the Health Department offices on July 16 as part of an ongoing program. Agencies participating in the July 16 training included the Elgin Police Department, Aurora University Campus Safety, and Elburn Community Emergency Response Team.
Naloxone, marketed under the trade name Narcan among others, is a medication used to counter the effects of an overdose. Naloxone is safe and effective and has no effect on non-opioid overdoses. Training is given to first responders so that the medicine can be given as soon as possible.
More than 500 officers have now been trained through the Kane County Narcan Program.
As recently as July 10, Kane County sheriff’s deputies used Naloxone to save a St. Charles Township woman who had overdosed on heroin. The Sheriff’s Office used Naloxone for the first time on April 10 to save an apparent heroin-overdose victim at a Campton Township residence.
SOURCE: Kane County Health Department
- Deputies Use Narcan to Save Woman From Heroin Overdose
- Deputy’s Naloxone Antidote Credited With Stopping Heroin Overdose in Campton Township
- Narcan Program Ready to Start Saving Lives