October 23, 2014. Tristatehomepage.com
Suicide, prescription pill abuse, and overdoses are three things often discussed not nearly enough.
But that discussion is happening in Warrick and Vanderburgh counties through the work of the sheriff’s offices and a local non-profit.
Beginning in early November, Sheriff’s Deputies in Warrick and Vanderburgh counties will be outfitted with what’s called Narcan. It’s a life-saving antidote for overdoses of heroin and some prescription pain medications.
The announcement was made today by CAJE, or Congregations Acting for Justice and Empowerment. Every year, the group focuses on an issue affecting the community. This year they focused on mental health.
In April, the group approached Warrick County Sheriff Brett Kruse and Vanderburgh County Sheriff Dave Wedding about the possibility of having deputies carry Narcan with them.
Narcan quickly reverses the effects of opiates like morphine, methadone and heroin in the case of a life-threatening overdose.
“This is just another tool that if we’re out somewhere and EMS isn’t close nearby, it will give our deputies another tool to maybe reverse the effects of an overdose and it may save a life.”
“This may be something hopefully we never use but if you have the opportunity to save one person, it’s worth the money and the time spent on it.”
Sheriff Kruse says having Narcan available to his deputies is essential especially in rural parts of the county where ambulance service might be 10 or 15 minutes away. He says Narcan typically costs about 20 dollars a dose.
This comes after Vanderburgh County has made great strides in suicide prevention. Over the last decade, the county has averaged three suicides a month. That typically leads the state in suicides per capita. But over the last two months, no suicides have been reported. That’s the first time that’s happened since 2006.
Both agencies expect to be fully deployed with Narcan in early November.