The kit with Naloxone spay that sheriff's deputies will be carrying in the test. Image courtesy sheriff's department
The kit with Naloxone spay that sheriff’s deputies will be carrying in the test. Image courtesy sheriff’s department

San Diego Sheriff‘s deputies in East County will begin carrying a new anti-overdose spray in hopes of saving victims of heroin, cocaine and similar drugs.

When someone is not breathing and suffering from an overdose, every second counts. Sheriff’s deputies are often the first to arrive on scene and they are in a position to save overdose victims.

On Monday, deputies at the Santee Sheriff’s Station will begin carrying Naloxone, the generic form of the drug commonly known as Narcan. It is a nasal spray that can be given to victims of opiate drugs to prevent death.

Naloxone spray. Photo courtesy state of New York

“Our goal is to save lives,” said Sheriff Bill Gore. “Sheriff’s  deputies will be trained to administer Naloxone when they are the first responders on the  scene of an overdose.”

The Sheriff’s department is the first law enforcement agency in California to use Naloxone on the street. Deputies will test Naloxone for six months to determine the effectiveness and feasibility of implementing throughout San Diego County.

The program will be administered under the direction of county Emergency Medical Services.The program supplements existing emergency medical response by allowing deputies to administer Naloxone prior to the arrival of EMS units.

Scripps Health donated $4,500 for the pilot program.

“Scripps is pleased to have the opportunity to partner with the Sheriff’s department in this effort to reduce drug overdose deaths,” said Scripps Health CEO and President Chris Van Gorder. “Administering potentially life‐saving therapy in the field could keep a patient alive long enough for them to be taken to an emergency room where more help can be delivered.”

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.