Advertisement

You will be redirected to the page you want to view in  seconds.

Seaside Heights Officer Daniel Davis holds a Narcan kit, used to help revive victims of heroin overdoses. / Bob Bielk, Asbury Park (N.J.) Press

SEASIDE HEIGHTS, N.J. -- A police officer here became the first to save a life under a pilot program equipping officers in Ocean County with Narcan, a drug that reverses the effects of opiates such as heroin.

Seaside Heights Officer Daniel Davis answered a 911 call early on April 6 from a distraught woman at the Dry Dock Motel who feared her friend might have overdosed on heroin.

Davis entered the room and found a 24-year-old man lying on the motel bed, face up. Davis felt for a pulse, and it was barely there. The man was breathing, but it was hard to tell, Davis said.

The man needed Narcan or he could die. Just a few days before, Davis had been trained to use the drug.

Another officer handed Davis the Narcan kit. As Davis was putting on the blue sterile gloves, he looked down at the man on the bed and thought, "This man is dying." His own adrenaline rushed in his veins as he went through the protocol and injected the liquid into each nostril.

Then, nothing. The course for administering the drug said to wait a few minutes between injections. As he prepared the next injection, an emergency medical team showed up. As the EMT reached for the victim's hand to check for a pulse, the man bolted awake. He was confused but alive.

New Jersey has been plagued in recent years by deaths caused by heroin and prescription drugs, and last year Ocean County became ground zero in the Jersey Shore region. Drug overdoses, many of them directly linked to heroin or prescription opiates, killed 112 people, more than double the year before, according to the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office.

So far this year 24 people have died, and 19 of them have been directly linked to heroin, according to the office.

"We may be at 25 if not for this Narcan," said prosecutor Joseph D. Coronato, who took office last year and made fighting the growing opiate crisis his top priority.

Earlier this month, Gov. Chris Christie announced a pilot program equipping police officers in Ocean County with Narcan, also known by its generic name of naloxone. Last May the governor signed the Overdose Prevention Act, which allowed for emergency personnel and close relatives to administer the antidote to an overdose victim, but it did not provide guidelines. The prosecutor's office in Ocean County drafted its own set of guidelines, which were approved by the attorney general, Coronato said.

All police departments in the county have since been trained to use Narcan, and within weeks every department will have the antidote, he said.

Narcan at least offers an overdose victim a chance to get clean after a brush with death, Coronato said. For a cost of roughly $20 for each dose of the nasal spray, it is well worth the effort, he said.

In Quincy, Mass., officers using Narcan have reversed 211 opiate overdoses since 2010, according to USA TODAY.

"If we can match that, we'll take it," said Al Della Fave, a spokesman for the Prosecutor's Office.

When Davis was trained on the use of Narcan, he had no idea it would be less than 72 hours before he had to put it to use. He says he is glad to have "another tool to save a life."

Bonafide and Racioppi also report for the Asbury Park (N.J.) Press.



Copyright 2014 USATODAY.com

Read the original story: Officer revives overdose victim with Narcan

More In

test

Real Deals

Flip, shop and save on specials from your favorite retailers in central Ohio.

GET DEALS | COUPONS

Things To Do

THU
24
FRI
25
SAT
26
SUN
27
MON
28
TUE
29
WED
30

CLASSIFIEDS

Classifieds from across Central Ohio
Lancaster
Chillicothe
Newark
Marion
Bucyrus
Mansfield
Zanesville
Coshocton

Weeklies & Shoppers

10TV Headlines

Dispatch Headlines

METROMIX