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Local News

Elwood police revive man from heroin overdose through first use of Narcan

Will County Director of Substance Abuse Initiatives Dr. Kathleen Burke said police departments are using more Narcan (pictured in this demonstration) than expected, but the lifesaving antidote is keeping opioid overdose deaths below the 2016 pace.
Will County Director of Substance Abuse Initiatives Dr. Kathleen Burke said police departments are using more Narcan (pictured in this demonstration) than expected, but the lifesaving antidote is keeping opioid overdose deaths below the 2016 pace.

An Elwood police officer managed to revive a man overdosing on heroin through the department’s first use of the Narcan antidote, police said.

At close to midnight Monday, Elwood police officers and firefighters were sent to the 100 block of Bushthorn Drive for a possible drug overdose, according to an Elwood police news release.

Elwood police officer Andrew Anderson was the first to arrive at the scene, and he found one person trying to revive a man who was unconscious and had used heroin. Anderson recognized the man’s condition was consistent with opioid overdose.

“The man was foaming at the mouth, showed a very dark red, almost purple skin tone in his face, and did not appear to be breathing,” Elwood police said in a statement.

Anderson deployed his heroin overdose antidote field kit and administered the first dose of naloxone, commonly known by its brand name, Narcan. He had to administer a second dose when there was no response from the man.

The man then became responsive and spoke with officers, answering questions appropriately, police said. However, he was uncooperative with paramedics and refused to go to the hospital.

Monday was the first use of Narcan by an Elwood police officer, police said. All officers received training on administrating the antidote from Will County Sheriff’s Deputy Jeff Jerz, with the department’s police training unit.

Will County officials have partially credited Narcan with reducing the number of heroin and opioid overdose deaths this year.

The county coroner’s office confirmed 35 overdose deaths through July 31, compared with 44 cases through July 31 last year.

Will County Director of Substance Abuse Initiatives Dr. Kathleen Burke has said she believes the reduction in overdose deaths is because of Narcan and that the county is using more of the antidote than she expected.

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