Hempstead County sheriff's deputies, jail employees issued naloxone

Hempstead County sheriff's deputies, jail employees issued naloxone

HEMPSTEAD CO., AR (KSLA) - At the start of the new year, Hempstead County Sheriff's deputies and jail personnel will be equipped with medication to combat opioid overdoses.

Deputies and jail employees will be given naloxone — a medication designed to rapidly reverse opioid overdose.

"It may be 30 minutes or longer before they can get to a hospital so our deputies and jail personnel need to have the tools there to reverse the effects of the opioids and to keep people alive long enough that we can get them to a hospital to get them other treatment and hopefully save their life, said Sheriff James Singleton in a Facebook post.

Naloxone can quickly restore normal respiration to a person whose breathing has slowed or stopped because of the overdose on something like heroin or opioid pain medications.

Narcan can also be administered by deputies to reverse the effects of drugs.

According to the Facebook post, deputies have responded to at least 20 calls involving intentional or accidental overdoses — and upon arrival, all they could do was wait.

The Facebook post also reads:

Combating the epidemic of opioid abuse—including prescription painkillers and, increasingly, heroin—requires a multi-pronged approach that involves reducing drug diversion, expanding delivery of existing treatments (including medication-assisted treatments), and development of new medications for pain that can augment our existing treatment arsenal. But another crucial component we must not forget is that people who abuse or are addicted to opioids need to be kept alive long enough that they can be treated successfully. In this, the drug naloxone has a large potential role to play.

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