Ohio County deputies will carry a new drug to reverse overdoses

Ohio County deputies to carry overdose reversal medication.JPG

WHEELING, WV - The Ohio County, West Virginia Sheriff's Office will now carry a new tool in the effort to save the lives of drug overdose victims, United States Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld, II, and Sheriff Pat Butler announced.

"For a deputy to have that Naloxone or Narcan on his belt and to be able to administer it will save lives. Every second counts," said Ihlenfeld.

Narcan is medication which reverses overdoses caused by heroin, prescription drugs, and other opioids. Earlier this year, Legislation passed a law that will allow police officers to administer the life-saving drug, As of Tuesday, the Ohio County Sheriff's Office will be one of the only law enforcement agencies in the state where each officer will carry it.

Ohio County Sheriff Pat Butler said his deputies respond to calls of overdoses all the time. And, being able to carry Narcan, or Naloxone, is necessary, especially since they usually get to the scene before paramedics arrive.

"This may give them a second chance to straighten their lives out," said Sheriff Butler.

All deputies with the Sheriff's office will receive training on how to identify the symptoms of an opioid overdose and how to administer the medication.

"We want to make sure we're identifying someone who is in actual need of this medication," said Ihlenfeld. "They're going to look at signs and symptoms, and this training will help them identify those signs and symptoms."

Federal funding has been secured to provide for the start-up costs. Law enforcement agencies and community organizations interested in obtaining more information about opioid antagonist medications or scheduling training sessions regarding the legal framework surrounding these medications are encouraged to contact Tara Tighe at the United States Attorney's Office at (304) 234-0100.

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