SLO County Sheriff’s deputies now have naloxone to help opioid overdose victims

Posted at 5:06 PM, May 16, 2018

The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office announced Wednesday that its deputies are now carrying naloxone in order to help victims of opioid overdoses.

Spokesman Tony Cipolla said the department is the first law enforcement agency in the county to do so.

Overdosing on heroin or prescription opioid pain pills can cause a person’s breathing to slow or stop. Naloxone, also known by its brand name, Narcan, can quickly reverse the overdose and restore normal breathing.

"This is called the second chance medicine and for good reason," Sheriff Ian Parkinson said in a statement released Wednesday afternoon. "It’s been proven to save lives."

The move comes during a local opioid crisis. The San Luis Obispo County Opioid Safety Coalition says opioid-related overdose deaths jumped from 15 in 2006 to 37 in 2016.

"It’s about saving lives," said SLO County Emergency Medical Services Director Vince Pierucci. "Every moment matters during an overdose."

The sheriff’s office works with the Emergency Medical Services division of the county Public Health Department to teach patrol deputies how to administer naloxone.

The general public can obtain naloxone, too. For more information, contact Pierucci at 805-788-2512.

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