Rogers County Deputies Train With Life-Saving Drug

Wednesday, May 27th 2015, 11:19 pm
By: News On 6

It's the one thing that could save someone from overdosing in less than a minute.

Several Green Country paramedics, firefighters and police officers already have the tool, and now an area sheriff's office is getting the costly, life-saving drug for the first time.

Firefighters, EMSA and Tulsa police officers have been using Narcan, and its use is expanding to other areas of Green Country.

3/14/2015 Related Story: Police Give Overdose Drug To Unconscious Tulsa Resident

It's already saved more than 15 lives in Tulsa, now the drug that can reverse certain drug overdoses is in the hands of more than 20 Rogers County sheriff's deputies.

Narcan is used when someone looks like they're overdosing - breathing heavily with discolored skin.

Tulsa Police Officer, Anthony First said, "The Narcan will cancel the effects of the opioid-based drug and, hopefully, keep them from dying because of that."

Using it is simple and only takes a minute to save a life.

"This is nasally administered, so officers are taught how to put this together and to squirt it up the nose," First said.

Drug overdose deaths set a new record in Oklahoma last year.

Oklahoma Watch reports 864 people died from overdoses in Oklahoma in 2014 caused by prescription drugs - like hydrocodone and oxycodone - and also street drugs, such as methamphetamine and cocaine.

Narcan could prevent some of those deaths.

“It will not work on other drugs like methamphetamine, like ecstasy. It's gotta be an opioid-based drug, and in Oklahoma most of our opioid-based drugs come in pill form," said First.

Amy Graham helped secure funding for Narcan through Community Partnership of Rogers County.

It can cost more than $100 apiece, but it's hard to put a price on a life.

"There are high, high numbers of individuals overdosing accidentally on opioids, so pain medications are very dangerous," Graham said.

They hope Narcan can be used county-wide by Claremore police and other police departments, but that'll take some time and money.

Narcan is safe, in that, if a patient gets the injection but didn't actually need it, no harm is done.

Community Partnership of Rogers County is hosting a prescription drug take back Saturday, May 30, 2015 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Call 918-342-9727 before May 30 to schedule a pickup or you can drop them off at the Rogers County Sheriff's Office or the Claremore, Catoosa, Inola and Chelsea police departments.