Lorain police first in state to use life-saving drug for overdose

LORAIN -- A new Lorain police officer was the first in Ohio to use the Narcan nasal spray to save a woman's life after an apparent drug overdose Tuesday.

Lorain County is part of a pilot program to put the opiate antidote in the hands of police officers -- who are often on the scene before ambulances.

This incident happened in the 2300 block of East 29th Street Tuesday.

Bryant Halsey has been a police officer since 2007 but just joined the Lorain Police Department in July.

"She was unresponsive, per department policy, we issued the Narcan," he said.

He said that the woman's mother had summoned first responders after she believed her daughter overdosed on heroin.

Lorain County Coroner Dr. Stephen Evans has championed putting Narcan into the hands of police officers for more than a year.

"I'm excited, this is our first save, I think we're going to get many saves," he said Tuesday.

Evans said he hopes the idea spreads beyond Lorain County and even Ohio.

"This isn't a Lorain County problem," he said. "It's happening all over Ohio and all over the United States."

Halsey said the woman "kind of came back" and was able to walk to an ambulance but was taken to a hospital to be checked out.

Narcan is considered a remarkable solution to a nationwide epidemic.

In Ohio, drug overdoses have increased by nearly 400 percent over the past decade.

And in Lorain County, last year alone, 60 of those were fatal. Heroin has become the drug of choice.

Each law enforcement officer is now carrying two so-called "Narcan" kits following training that takes no more than 30 minutes.

Preventing death by drug overdose is what it's all about. And if the pilot program works in Lorain County, it could soon be adopted statewide.

After police treated the woman with Narcan, LifeCare paramedics assisted in treating her.


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